Boston Bruins: No suspension for Matt Bartkowski.


Nov 22, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski (43) grabs a hold of Montreal Canadiens center Manny Malhotra (20) during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bartkowski can breathe a sigh of relief. The Department of Player Safety has chosen not to move forward with any further discipline against him for his hit on Sabres forward, Brian Gionta. Bartkowski made a shoulder to shoulder hit on Gionta, (not as easy as it sounds as Bartkowski is 6’1″ and Gionta is 5’6″) up-ending the Buffalo player. Gionta came crashing down face first. He got up under his own power, but did not return to the game.

If you haven’t seen the hit in question, here it is below:

Matt Bartkowski then had to defend himself against an irate Marcus Foligno. Bartkowski did alright for his first NHL fight, but Foligno was the better fighter in that bout.

Matt Bartkowski’s hit was clean. The NHL watched the video dozens of times to see exactly where the hit went down.  They saw the hit as a legal hit on Gionta, and felt that the penalties assessed to Bartkowski were sufficient. (Yes, I can already here the complaints from those fans who hate the Bruins.)

In fairness sake, let’s look at it from the other side. Some Sabres fans will be outraged because their team have taken a string of injuries, and Gionta’s removal doesn’t help matters.  Truth be told, the Sabres injury problems are looking a lot like the Bruins were in late November. Some fans just don’t want to see one of their players get vaulted into the air. It’s unfortunate that one of the smallest players in the league took a direct shoulder-to-shoulder hit and got sent sprawling to the ice.

The oddest thing about that hit and fight last night is that Matt Bartkowski just might have gotten himself back on the roster full time with that hit. It was the kind of hit you would have seen from Zdeno Chara or Milan Lucic last season. It was a powerful shot that got the fans into the game. That’s what the Bruins version of Ole Time Hockey is.