Monday, January 24, 2011

Brandon Prust Is a Warrior

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Brandon Prust is a warrior.  That statement goes without saying, but it must be said.  You watch him and with each passing game you become more amazed at the will and toughness he brings to the New York Rangers.  For the past few months Brandon Prust has been playing with a bum shoulder, yet he never misses a game and refusing to take shifts off.  He has fought less, but to best heal that shoulder he should not be fighting at all.  That sort of reality is not one that Brandon Prust subscribes to because he will do whatever it takes for the team. 

It is why Brian Boyle, who is having his own phenomenal season, can say with no hesitation and absolute sincerity, "He's a warrior and it's an honor to play with him."  From this end, it is an honor to watch him as well.

Last week, with his team flat against Carolina, Prust decided trying to spark the team was more important than the pain he was going to experience in the shoulder as a result of fighting Jay Harrison.  Fighting a man who is significantly bigger than him is something few people want to do even when healthy, but for Prust it is a common occurrence and on that night he would do it even with an injured wing.  Even more impressive is the fact by the time the fight was over he would be the winner.  That is what defines Brandon Prust.  That is what has come to define this year’s New York Rangers. 

The next night in Atlanta, Prust takes a slap shot off the foot and crumbles to the ice.  You could tell it was bad from the way he hobbled to the bench and for most it would be the end of their night immediately.  Most are not wired like Brandon Prust.  For the rest of the first and second period you would see Prust take every shift with his line noticeably hobbling, but continuing to give it maximum effort.  It was not until the start of the third period where John Tortorella would have to make the decision for Prust that his night was over.  That is the mentality of a warrior.

Following Saturday’s game there was good news in regards to the injury to Prust in that x-rays were negative.  The team listed Prust as day-to-day and while he should take tonight and even tomorrow off so that he can heal all his injuries over the extended break, I do not suspect we see that.  If Prust can stand today, he will find a way to get himself into the lineup against the Capitals tonight.  It is just the mentality of a warrior.