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Video: Penguins defeat Leafs, Bortuzzo called for illegal hit to head

Dec 16, 2013, 10:12 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 7.11.20 PM

Sidney Crosby gave the Pittsburgh Penguins the lead late in the third period and Brandon Sutter secured the win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Crosby scored his 19th goal of the season with 6:03 left in regulation time to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead over the visiting Maple Leafs, before Sutter’s short-handed empty-net goal gave the Penguins a 3-1 victory, finishing off what was an eventful evening between the two teams.

Robert Bortuzzo got everybody talking with a high hit on Leafs forward Jerry D’Amigo in the third period.

D’Amigo was leaning forward to chip a puck up the wall with one hand on his stick, when he was planted to the ice by Bortuzzo, who stood up in the neutral zone, delivering a blow to the head in the process.

Bortuzzo was given a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head as a result.

As per the NHL Department of Player Safety, the league will not be pursuing supplemental discipline on Bortuzzo.

“In looking at Bortuzzo/D’Amigo, we see unavoidable head contact on an otherwise full body hit,” stated the Department of Player Safety on Twitter.

Earlier in the night, the Penguins’ defenseman was on the receiving end of a hit from Leafs’ forward Troy Bodie in the corner.

Bortuzzo got up, grabbed Bodie and the two engaged in a fight in the Pittsburgh zone.

Penguins’ forward Jayson Megna also suffered a lower-body injury Monday and is “unlikely” to play Wednesday against the New York Rangers, as per the Penguins’ Twitter account.

  1. steelers88 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Hello Derrick Poulliot.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      Well seeing as Pouliot is with Portland we won’t be seeing him – it would likely be Harrington. I think the point is moot anyway because Bortuzzo won’t suspended for this. No history of discipline and D’Amigo returned (only to leave later on a different hit). With that being said….

      Who the heck let D’Amigo back on the ice after that hit?

      • goalieguy37 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        bortuzzo landed the second hit too. I thought the collision with his head in the first hit was not intentional. Now England the other night is a different story…

  2. ash0war - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Robert didn’t mean to hurt him… Robert is just tall… Every hit is being questioned now..

    • crazyspartan35 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      seriously? he left his feet and im pretty sure he hit the rafters with that elbow

      • goalieguy37 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        impact was across the torso and head simultaneously. his feet came up after impact too. it’s when they leave the feet before impact that it becomes illegal.

      • hazlydose - Dec 17, 2013 at 2:10 AM

        You want to talk about elbows? How about the flying elbow that Crosby dodged from Kadri?

      • ewoods6 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        Every hockey player’s skates come off the ice when they hit someone. That is a poor indicator of an illegal hit in my mind. Watch every player who goes into the boards. Their skates are off the ice.

      • c9castine - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        When you keep your feet firmly planted while giving or receiving a check your probably gonna fall. It’s hard to explain but if you have done those two things in real life you know what I mean. Hitting causes abrupt body movement And if your feet are left behind your going down if you allow your feet to come with you, you can get right back on them even on hard impacts because they remain underneath you instead of 2 feet to the left.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Dec 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        c9, good informative post, thanks!

    • imleftcoast - Dec 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      The debates are really getting boring.

  3. dropthepuckeh - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Typical Penguins cheap shot and play dumb. Look at the elbow going up after the hit – any other team gets suspension.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Elbow goes up but doesn’t make contact with D’Amigo at all – pushing your arms outward to make a hit… looks like someone is fishing….

    • hockey412 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      How is this hit different than Chara’s headshot on Wingels, just out of curiousity? I mean, aside from the fact that this one was penalized….

      And Chara did not get a suspension. This one was reviewed, and they said it was unavoidable contact after the body check.

    • ewoods6 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Elbows have to come up, look at the mechanics of the body. It;s attached to the body via the shoulder….please tell me how an elbow doesn’t swing up? Look at the elbow at the point of contact. Right in the middle of the guy’s chest.

  4. spitfisher - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Lets see another hit targeting the head by the Penquins, surprise surprise…….gee that’s never happens.

  5. sjsharks66 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I honestly believe that was a clean hit. Hit him in the chest, head snaps back from the force. Just take hitting out of the game already. Every hit has been a 5 major or a hit to the head. It is getting out of control, with bad calls.

  6. steelers88 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    But Derrek Engellands hit was an accident as well and he got suspended.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      I didn’t say it was an accident or on purpose – just said that, a) given the lack of a history and b) the lack of an injury, they likely won’t suspend a guy for a hit like that. A fine maybe but I wouldn’t expect a suspension.

  7. ironyisadeadscene - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Left his feet and everything….he’s learned Pittsburgh’s playbook quickly….he even looked genuinely surprised it was a penalty.

    On another note, why couldn’t it have been phaneuf that he hit

    • sjsharks66 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Left his feet?? Are you smoking crack? His feet lift up after the hit, just like ALL hits.

      • drone501 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        don’ even try to reason with some of these idiots on here shark. you can”t win. wheres whammy when you need him?

    • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      If you look at the still shot of the contact both skates are on the ice at the point of contact so there’s not an issue there. On most open ice hits players will leave the ice after the impact, so that’s pretty normal. What gets folks int rouble is leaping INTO the hit.

  8. theageofquarrel - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    LET’S GO PENS!!!!!!

    • sjsharks66 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM


      • theageofquarrel - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM


  9. drone501 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    saw ma helluva lot of cheap shot by the loafs also. going for the knees, questionable checks into the boards which resulted into bortuzzo going postal. so the pens are physical. so what. scott stevens made a living out of dirtier hits than most that are dished out every night. pens used to get their asses kicked everynight not too long ago. shoes on the other foot now. deal with it.

  10. slaugin - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Lol at pens fans

  11. nunan - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Not dirty. If that’s worthy of suspension, Orpik needs to go jail.

    • buysamadrink - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      …and Thornton to Siberia…

    • taterjo - Dec 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      The Bruins allowed Eriksson to return too soon from his previous concussion. That is why he sustained another. Orpik is a heavy hitter but his hit was CLEAN. If you want to be angry about 21’s injury, be mad at the Bruins medical staff.

      • nunan - Dec 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Dr. Taterjo over here..

  12. chanceoffleury - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    I didn’t think there was any malicious intent on the hit. I viewed it in a similar way as the Bernier-Megna collision in that both Megna and D’Amigo had so much momentum going in for the puck, and had such a lack of readiness in stability for a big hit, that when they collided with the other player they got all the momentum from the other player and didn’t exert any themselves to slow down the hit. The difference being Bernier went low and Bortuzzo stayed higher. Had Bortuzzo went sliding in, I think D’Amigo would have had that same rag doll flop over that Megna had. I could see him getting fined for it if Shanahan is feeling particularly picky, but due to the fact they both went after and touched the puck, and D’Amigo’s head was lowered so much from it’s natural position, I think they’d have to be exceptionally picky to validate suspending him.

  13. joey4id - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    It appears that Bortuzzo’s shoulder connected with D’Amigo’s head, but Bortuzzo did not target the head nor was it the primary point of contact.

  14. malkamania71 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    9-1 in last 10 games. 53% of salary cap absent from lineup. Haters gonna hate.

    • drewzducks - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      One loss ? To whom ? That’s right, the team that owns you.

      • malkamania71 - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      • ryanw822 - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:33 AM

        And the Penguins needed 4+ games to score twice…

      • Tyler - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        Tell Marc Savard I said “Hi”

      • Tyler - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:42 AM


      • drewzducks - Dec 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM

        Tyler, tell Vokoun, aka the bleeder, I say hi as well.

      • jdlinder11 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        Drew, Vokoun had a blood clot in his hip. That would make him the opposite of a “bleeder”

      • slysipops - Dec 17, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        MALKAMANIA71 , thanks for the video …if your a girl, i could kiss ya….. if your a guy , how about a pat on the back….. that 17 seconds still makes my eyes watery and my knees weak !!! LOL !

    • drewzducks - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:02 PM

  15. csilojohnson - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    every hit now?

  16. mclovinhockey - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Another day, another pen possibly being suspended for being dirty.
    No need at all to toss the elbow up, lucky for him that was not the primary point of contact, but maybe the league needs to send a message to the pens… Not in a suspension, but a physical message, letting them know their team needs to stop this. A large warning letting them know that future incidents will be met with an iron fist.
    Shocking that Philly is no longer the dirtiest team in PA.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Well seeing as how NHL Player safety already came out saying it was a clean hit (incidental head contact on a full body check) I guess they disagree with you…..

      • mclovinhockey - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        I am not saying this was dirty, just saying who knows what the department of player safety could have thought. If the elbow would have went up a split sec earlier it would have caught him in the head and then it could have been suspension worthy, he got lucky he missed, making it a good clean hit.

        All I was saying is Pitt has been on the radar way too much lately for stuff like this… they got lucky this time. but they need to cool down with the head shots.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        I see what your saying now, but I also would note that you’re putting unnecessary qualifiers on this stuff – I believe that his elbow wasn’t in danger of going up “a split sec earlier” because he had it tucked through impact. Then the force of the impact pushing Bortuzzo back saw him push his arms out to maintain equilibrium and stay balanced – you see similar motion through the hands on almost every hit of that nature.

      • dirt2013 - Dec 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        mclovin,if your aunt had balls she would be your uncle.

    • drone501 - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      im starting to see hits like that on every game highlights. maybe the players don’t give a crap. your going to have guys hit. thats why they wear helmets. i think the flagrant elbows to the heads are the worse. the game is too fast to size up an opponent a decide where to check him or if to check him at all.

  17. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    In NCAA ice hockey, this would be dubbed ‘indirect contact to the head.’ He makes contact only after his arm slides up D’Amigo’s chest. I don’t think it was a dirty hit but Bortuzzo, whether he meant to or not, made contact with his head. I don’t think it is a suspension-worthy offense though.

  18. mclovinhockey - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Just to be clear, I say that feeling this hit was questionable but clean. If the elbow would have went up a split sec earlier and it would have been worthy of a few games.

  19. joeslickfromturtlecreek - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Not a dirty hit. Players can’t put themselves in vulnerable positions like that. Ask a player like Mark Recchi how he had such a long and successful career. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable situations, stay healthy, realize that this is a checking game, and live on to play another day. Not respecting the physical nature of the game is the surest way to an early retirement.

  20. muckleflugga - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM


    you mean ‘vulnerable’ as in run defenceless forward looking back for puck, do colonel sander’s chicken dance for eight minutes, turn back on willing dance partner, flop, turtle, go from chicken dance to jitterbug, embarrass self, teammates, team, the league, family…

    our miss brooks kind of vulnerability…?

    • blackhawksdynasty - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:37 AM

      Muckle you’ve got to post a video example of the Colonel Sanders chicken dance!!! (and please provide extra biscuits)

  21. tsac33 - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Principal point of contact was clearly head. Look at thumbnail at top of page seems like it is shoulder to chin. Don’t think it should be a suspension just saying.

  22. muckleflugga - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:18 AM


    i tried but i can’t find find a chicken dance link, sorry


    imagine male and female, employees sweating another evening shift over a deep chicken fryer, young, late teens, hormones raging…a lull in the action, flies droning, heat sweltering, ray charles moaning…

    he, nineteen with skin issues, six feet two and a hundred and twenty two pounds wet…she, eighteen with incipient moustache, five feet four and two ten soaking wet, always…babes in joy land…

    all those thighs and breasts and legs, dinners for one, family packs, buckets, got him thinkin’ and her agreein’…he seizes the moment, presses his advantage, aprons lift and girdle falls…adjustments, hoisting…the moment…

    sssssssssssst…backed onto fryer handle…aieeeeeee…

    manager…heavy footfalls…coming…retreat scrambling a half naked hopping ballet out back door…dancing…jumping…straddling elastic…snaps and garters and pant legs…wrong owner wrong leg…panic…quick, behind the dumpster you ass…

    the colonel sanders chicken dance…

  23. theskinsman - Dec 17, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    The pens deserve every hard hit they’re earning with the constant cheap shots.Don’t cry when Sid is laying on the ice,twitching…because it will happen.

    • drone501 - Dec 17, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      nah, wont happen, but if it does there will be retribution

    • hockey412 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      How was that a cheap shot? Is a clean, open-ice hit a cheap shot now?

      If so, do you want them removed from the sport?? Is that what you are trying to say?

  24. titansbro - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    Anybody who says that isn’t a head shot has their Crosby panties on over their eyes. Shoulder, meet face. It’s another in a long line of dirty head shots by the Pens. I mean, I don’t wanna say Bylsma is coaching this crap, but what’s going on over there? Head shotting unsuspecting opponents doesn’t make you a “tough, physical” team.

  25. nhstateline - Dec 17, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Oh Mario, Mario, where for art thou Mario ? Oh yeah, that’s right head shots are dirty when the other team dishes them out but my team ? See excuses above. I’m sure Sid, who has worked hard to take all the cheap crap out of his own game so people didn’t dump theirs on him in return, has to be thrilled with this. All it takes is one idiot and given the highlights from the Pens lately, I bet there are such idiots on other teams thinking “drill Crosby or Malkin, send message, get more ice time and bigger contract later.” All it takes is one and the one situation that puts their less talented self where they could execute said hit. And this is why doing nothing to Orpik on a league level was a lousy idea.

  26. knight1171 - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    There sure are a lot of foolish comments as always. First and foremost Bortuzzo is 6’4″, D’Amigo is 5’11. Stand them beside each other and I am pretty sure D’Amigo’s head is always the same level as Bortuzzo’s shoulder. Second, again with the elbow comments. When you hit someone with your shoulder, you push off after contact to reduce the effect on your own body. When you do that, your arm comes up from its original position. The elbow never makes contact, it just flails out to the side. And lastly, why is everyone that gets hit an “unsuspecting player” ? Bortuzzo was standing still, D’Amigo skated into him while playing the puck. If you are “unsuspecting” that a player standing right in front of you might check you, I suspect you should not be playing. I am pretty sure that every kid is taught the basic rule of keep your stick down and your head up.

  27. cavafox - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Knight. Get that logic out of here. It was a dirty hit by a dirty player. Lol.

  28. cavafox - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Knight. Get that logic out of here. It was a dirty hit by a dirty player. Lol.

  29. steelers88 - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    I like how the young players are playing. It is crazy how they can come up from the AHL and start winning in the NHL. I almost wish the young players could stay up with the Penguins. Last night was the fastest I have seen the Penguins in a long time. At least their getting NHL experience and hopefully they can be regular NHL players next year.

  30. montrealbbr - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Pittsburgh is trying to take over Boston as being the dirtiest team out there. Bortuzzo deserves a suspension because that was a dirty play.

    • cavafox - Dec 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Or… Not… but keep telling yourself that and it might be true. Clean as can be.

  31. 7mantel - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Amazing how we down play a questionable hit by our own players but yell “off with his head” when our players are the recipient of such a hit !

  32. slysipops - Dec 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    once again the telecast is marred by the totally HOMER announcers at ROOT TV ! i can understand that hometown announcers will be somewhat biased , but these JERKS take that to a whole new level ! WHY couldn’t the broadcast have come from the TORONTO airwaves?? by the way i am not a TORONT FAN . if integrity would make one rich …the boys at ROOT will always be as poor as they come!

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