This one was pretty disturbing to watch and I must say I genuinely hope the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety will get involved here as this goes far beyond the level of anything that could reasonably be considered a hockey play.
On Saturday night during a match up between the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues, Blues enforcer Robert Bortuzzo delivered a vicious attack on the back of Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson. The attack appeared to be born of frustration and furthermore appear to be entirely unprovoked which makes the viciousness of it all the more unbelievable when you watch the replay of the incident.
Bortuzzo delivered a pretty stiff crosscheck to the back of Arvidsson and that one sent him flying into the net and resulted in the official raising his hand to award Bortuzzo with a 2 minute minor penalty. That was probably the right call on the part of the official and it should have ended there, but instead Bortuzzo doubled down on his actions and appeared to just snap on Arvidsson. The second crosscheck came straight down on the lower back of Arvidsson and anyone that has worn hockey equipment knows that it struck him in an area where his back was entirely unprotected.
The reaction from Arvidsson to that second blow was like that of someone behind electrocuted and no doubt it sent a powerful jolt of pain through his body upon impact. It was very clear from his body language as he got up as well that he had was feeling the ill effects of Bortuzzo's attack and he struggled to even stand up straight on his skates. Unsurprisingly Arvidsson would not return to the bench but would instead head directly back to the Predators locker room for medical attention.
It was not long however before the Predators' training staff would rule him out of tonight's game completely, declaring that he would miss the remainder of the contest as the result of a "lower body injury." You never want to call for a player to be suspended as we are talking about their livelihoods here, but obviously Bortuzzo didn't weigh that when taking liberties with Arvidsson's livelihood this evening.