By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo waited until the end of Game 6 to put his own dirty little stamp on it.
Bortuzzo probably won’t face any further discipline than the penalty and game misconduct he received late in the third period of the Blues’ 5-1 loss to the Bruins on Sunday, which forced a Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday. It’s safe to bet on Bortuzzo being in the Blues lineup for that. But there’s no doubt that he gave Bruins forward Noel Acciari quite the sucker punch as the two jawed at each other with less than a minute left and the game well in hand for the B’s.
As you can see in the below clips, it starts as your standard run-of-the-mill slash-and-cross-check battle between two hard-nosed players. After the whistle the two get in each other’s faces. Bortuzzo punctuates it with a fist to Acciari’s chin then immediately skates away. He received a penalty and misconduct, which were meaningless because the game was over.
Robert Bortuzzo keeps things classy, as he punches Noel Acciari and gives a wink after. pic.twitter.com/ZaIzHTmSM7— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) June 10, 2019
Acciari chirps Bortuzzo and gets popped pic.twitter.com/5ay9O9x2Dq— ????????Brick Hithouse???? (@DFSBBallGuy) June 10, 2019
I know it’s annoying for some to constantly point out the double-standards when it comes to certain Boston athletes and teams. But clearly the reaction to Bortuzzo’s punch was lukewarm compared to Brad Marchand’s boop to the back of the head of Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington. Calls for a suspension all over the place for Marchand, over essentially the same kind of rat move from Bortuzzo.
There’s practically no reaction to Bortuzzo’s punch to Acciari. And it’s not like Bortuzzo doesn’t have a history. He’s even fought his own teammate:
6 months ago Zach Sanford and Robert Bortuzzo fought during a practice and the St. Louis Blues were last in the NHL standings. Tonight they have a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history: pic.twitter.com/eLPt6JeQjS— From The Faceoff (@FromTheFaceoff) June 9, 2019
Bortuzzo has been suspended twice in his career, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented to see him get in trouble again. But for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final? That would probably be excessive.
So to be clear, I’m not saying Bortuzzo should be suspended. Just pointing out an obvious weasel thing to do, and a clear hypocrisy in the reaction to it. We’re on to Game 7.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.