Brandon Prust continues to be a great addition to the Montreal Canadiens‘ roster, providing the team with some clutch scoring in addition to what he brings to the team with his fists and physical play. Prust has been especially successful against the Carolina Hurricanes this season, and recently had the first three-point game of his more than 300-game NHL career.
Prust had the first goal in a 4-2 Candiens win over the Hurricanes on Thursday and also added a pair of assists. It was his fourth goal of the season and second in four games, as he continues to contribute bonus offense for a surging Montreal team. When the Canadiens and Hurricanes met earlier this season, he also scored the first goal of the game which proved to be the game-winner in a 3-0 triumph. It hasn’t taken long for the former New York Rangers forward to endear himself to the fans of one of hockey’s most storied franchises, and he continues to light a fire under some of his teammates by playing all out on every shift.
Most players that find themselves near the top of the league in penalty minutes aren’t playing the kind of minutes that Prust is, and even fewer are offensive contributors. Prust leads the league with 81 penalty minutes, but also ranks in the top ten with a plus-minus rating of plus-13. He leads the Canadiens in that category, while playing alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. The Canadiens remain one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference, as they continue getting great goaltending from Carey Price, solid defense from Andrei Markov (and others) and consistent offense from veterans Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Michael Ryder. Adding a player like Prust into that mix seems to be just what the team needed to continue their return to the NHL’s upper echelon.