Suspend him or not: Canadiens’ Brandon Prust drills Lightning goalie Ben Bishop

Canadiens agitator Brandon Prust has a history with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop – and on Monday night, Prust added to that history with a questionable hit from behind on the star netminder.

Montreal Canadiens winger Brandon Prust is known around the league as a player who plays “on the edge”. Monday night against Tampa Bay, he appeared to go over that edge on a questionable hit from behind on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop that could earn him a date with the NHL’s discipline department.

The Lightning had a 3-0 lead on the Habs in the second period when the puck came around the boards toward the back of Bishop’s net. The goalie came out to play the puck, and Prust skated right into his back, knocking Bishop headfirst into the boards when Prust just as easily could’ve pulled up or avoided the collision:
(video via SportsNetCanada)

Bishop and Prust have a history of animosity – and if Prust does get suspended, it wouldn’t be his first brush with the NHL’s department of player safety. Or his second, for that matter. Last season, he was suspended two games in the playoffs for a late hit on Rangers center Derek Stepan:

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And in the 2012 post-season as a member of the Blueshirts, Prust was suspended one game after an elbow to the head of then-Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov:

When a player becomes a repeat offender who continues to show a reckless lack of regard for his opponents, it’s time for the league to send him a stern message. However, don’t take that to mean anyone is predicting he’ll get suspended for more than two or three games, if that. The NHL almost always errs on the side of a lighter punishment and the same more than likely will be true for Prust.