Sun, Dec 15, 2019

Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will be sitting for the next four games as he serves a suspension for cross-checking Nashville’s Victor Arvidsson on Saturday night. The league’s department of player safety announced the suspension on Sunday and said the nature of Bortuzzo’s predatory cross-check combined with his history as a repeat offender led them to the four-game ban.

The incident occurred during the first period of the game after Bortuzzo was whistled for an initial cross-check to Arvidsson’s back. That first cross-check sent the Predators forward into the net as Nashville maintained possession in the offensive zone. Bortuzzo wasn’t happy with the call and appealed to the referees before turning his attention back to Arvidsson. That’s when Bortuzzo decided to double down with a second (and much nastier) cross-check to a vulnerable part of Arvidsson’s lower back. 

It was a cheap and unnecessary move delivered out of pure frustration from Bortuzzo. Worst of all, it resulted in a serious injury for Arvidsson, who left the game and has been ruled out for the next four to six weeks. With that in mind, Bortuzzo actually may have gotten off a little easy with the four-game sentence. 

The Blues defenseman also has a history as a repeat offender. He was involved in a similar sequence with New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson two years ago and escaped that incident with just a fine. He was also fined for a cross-check to the face of Boston’s Jordan Szwarz last March.

Bortuzzo was also suspended three games in September 2018 for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny.

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