A first look at Jordan Staal’s gloved punch to the kisser of the Rangers Brandon Prust looked like a devastating blow bound to draw a suspension for the Penguins centre. A second and third look at the clip shows that Prust took an opportune moment to exercise his acting chops. Staal was assessed a five minute major and a match penalty on the play, which automatically subjected the play to further review from the NHL. Staal will not miss the Penguins Wednesday night contest for the “punch”, and according to TSN’s Darren Dreger there will be no further discipline from the NHL.

Staal is a big strong hockey player, but embellishment on the part of Prust is evident on a close look at this play. Thankfully the NHL got this one right and will not hand down any additional punishment on Staal. Prust had taken a number of solid punches to his melon from Deryk Engelland earlier in the game, but dropped like Snooki in a nightclub with one tap from Staal.

Ben Eager earned a four game suspension earlier this season when he was still a member of the Atlanta Thrashers after clocking Toronto’s Colby Armstrong with a vicious right hand.

Staal would miss the remainder of the game, but the Penguins managed to defeat the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. Call it another case of things happening so quickly on the ice that the officials made what they figured to be the right call. Had Prust not sold the punch with a dive then it’s quite possible that there would have been no call on the play. Still, we applaud the NHL for getting this one right after the fact.

Stick tap Pensblog for the GIF

Comments (6)

  1. I plan on using all of my remaining monthly bandwidth watching and re-watching that animated .gif

  2. “It’s a shame that Staal will be required to sit out one game for the match penalty.”

    Staal is playing tonight.

  3. Thanks clefevre. Post amended. There was some confusion with TSN’s initial reports this morning, which I forgot about clearing up on this post until seeing your comment.

  4. I cant help but wonder if that was Carcillo… or any other Flyer instead of Staal… I like Staal but come on… talk about double standard….

  5. to just explain further… I believe they did get it right… But lets say Prust embelishes the exact same punch in the exact same situation by a player like Carcillo, or Eager… I don’t think the NHL would of hesitated to make a 5 to 10 game suspension, but because it is a player like Staal they look a little bit closer at the situation… Just be as diligent with situations involving grinders and guys who play on the line, as you are with NHL stars.

  6. I agree @donald_g9 that there is sometimes a double standard with these kinds of things. Staal has no history of suspensions or dirty play, though, which I think helped influence the decision. We couldn’t say the same for guys like Eager or Carbombs.

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