SUN Hockey Pool

Prust first in fist category

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

In the last five games, Brandon Prust has been in five fights.

You'd think he'd appear pretty rough at this point.

Instead of looking like Rocky Balboa while calling out for Adrian, Prust barely has a mark on him.

"I'm holding up alright," he said.

"I'm fighting some big boys sometimes, but I'm fighting like I've always fought. I just make sure I'm smart. If you're gonna go a lot, it'll be a short career if you're getting broken bones."

According to hockeyfights.com, Prust leads the league with nine fighting majors.

In Sunday's loss to Chicago, the rookie fought Troy Brouwer and Matt Walker. The day before, he took on Jared Boll.

"Just the way it's been going. It's just getting in that streak where the games are getting a little heated, and sometimes it's trying to spark the guys if we're down," he said.

"You can go five games without a fight and sometimes you can go 10 in a row with a fight."

The rookie left-winger has a rap sheet that says he's a brawler. It's worth noting Prust is listed at 5-foot-11, 195-lb., nowhere near the size of the league's heavyweights that he's been willing to square off against.

"I've always fought bigger guys just because I'm not that big," said Prust, who has a goal and an assist to go with his 61 penalty minutes. "There are a lot of big guys in the league and I'm definitely not going to back down. Sometimes it's more fun fighting the big guys -- the bigger they are, the harder they fall."

The third-round draft choice has known his NHL aspirations hinge on providing energy, be it with a goal, a hit or a scrap.

He's proven to his teammates and the rest of the league to be more than willing to do what it takes.

"He's showing everyone he's out there to play and to compete," said defenceman Robyn Regehr. "He's done a tremendous job of that. I don't think you can do anything other than say, 'Great job so far.'

"An instance that comes to mind is when he fought (Edmonton's Steve) MacIntyre in Edmonton, sticking up for a teammate. You can't fault a guy whatsoever for that. You love teammates like that."

Exactly what Prust loves to hear.

"I'm trying to prove to my teammates that every game I'm going to be there to protect them or try to get them going when I need to," said the 24-year-old. "Also, it's showing that to other teams, let them know if they're going to take liberties, I'll be coming.

"I like to play and don't want to just concentrate on fighting all the time, but it's something I don't mind doing and take pride in doing."


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