Friday, November 27, 2015

Beleskey Plows Stepan, Breaking Ribs and Incurring Wrath

Matt Beleskey disrupted the flow of Saturdays' Bruins-Rangers tilt at TD Garden when he hammered Rangers pivot Derek Stepan after Stepan had moved the puck. Stepan would not return, and the Rangers hope that Beleskey is punished for the late nature of the hit (he was not penalized on the play but the NHL's Department of Player Safety says it will review the play).

“In our opinion, it was a late hit,” Rangers coach Alan Vigneault said of the Beleskey check, which came after Stepan had moved the puck up the ice. “More than a second and [Stepan] was a couple of feet from the boards. So we’ll have to wait and see [about a suspension]."

Beleskey later stated his case.

"I just think he didn't think I was going to hit him," Beleskey said. "He kind of didn't brace himself. I didn't take any extra strides. Maybe a little bit late, but he saw me coming. I came from in front. It's unfortunate, I think … he's hurt, so hopefully he's all right."

Dylan McIlrath stepped in immediately to fight Beleskey, incurring an instigating minor which led to a Bruins' equalizer.

It's not known how long Stepan will miss, but the Rangers are already figuring out how they might replace him.