Rangers coach Alain Vigneault reiterated Saturday that "there was no excuse" for Dan Carcillo's elbowing an official in Game 3, which drew a 10-game suspension, but publicly questioned whether linesman Scott Driscoll handled the situation in the best way possible.
At 2:51 of the first period, Brandon Prust decked Derek Stepan with a blindside shoulder, a blow that broke Stepan's jaw and resulted in a two-game suspension for Prust on Friday.
About three minutes after Prust's hit, which was not penalized, Carcillo boarded Prust and then watched from the side while Prust and Derek Dorsett tangled.
Driscoll skated over to Carcillo, grabbed Carcillo's hips and began to escort him to the penalty box. Carcillo resisted -- apparently not knowing that he had been whistled for charging -- and his elbow struck Driscoll. Carcillo, 29, who had 10 previous suspensions or fines in his career, was given a game misconduct.
"If the right call is made [on Prust], that whole situation doesn't happen," Vigneault said. "Dan didn't have a penalty on that play. There was no penalty. I still don't understand why Scott grabbed him in that fashion. All Scott had to do was tell him he had a penalty; Dan didn't know he had a penalty. Just 'can you come to the box with me here, you have a penalty,' and it would have been over. In that split moment of grabbing him like that -- obviously, it's inexcusable what Dan did, but those situations or incidents, put one after the other, lead to [the possibility that] a young gentleman's career moving forward might be very tough here."
Carcillo, who came to the Rangers from Los Angeles on Jan. 4 and will be an unrestricted free agent, declined to speak with the media, probably because he will appeal the suspension.
"His first comment to me was, 'I know I should have been in better control,' " Vigneault said. "He knows that. Two wrongs don't make a right. Whatever happened before, he should have been in better control. I can't begin to tell you how bad he feels about the whole thing. I mean, his situation, his personal future, the team. There is nothing he can do about it now."