Colorado Avalanche: Analyzing the 2 Questionable Hits

Two Colorado Avalanche players made questionable hits in the last game. Here’s an analysis of those hits.

The Colorado Avalanche have taken a two-game series lead over the St. Louis Blues. When the team won their second of two games against the Blues, that should have been the main story of the game.

In many ways, that series lead is, of course, the main story from Game 2. However, a couple of questionable hits have also garnished some attention.

The first one is the big news, so let’s start with the second one. Said hit actually occurred earlier in the game. Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo left the game after a collision with Avalanche forward Tyson Jost. You can see the video replay here.

Naturally, St. Louis fans were up in arms because their player didn’t return to the ice that night. His return to the series is questionable as he suffered a concussion earlier in the year and will likely be in the protocol after that collision with Jost’s elbow.

You have to take the play into context, though. First of all, Bortuzzo had been head-hunting Jost all night. Granted, Jost seems to be his regular assignment, as evidenced by this post from two years ago. However, he was manhandling the smaller player all night long and literally going for both the head and knees. Check out this clip here.

What’s more, if you watch the play itself, Jost isn’t even looking at Bortuzzo. He’s simply bracing himself for the inevitable hit that’s been coming from that source all night. Bortuzzo just went low as Jost was bracing himself.

And we all know Jost is the opposite of a dirty or even particular gritty player.

In any case, it’s a moot point. Per Blues beat writer Andy Strickland, Jost will not have a hearing with the Department of Public Safety, and there will be no supplemental discipline.

The other questionable hit is another matter entirely. By now we all know Nazem Kadri caught Justin Faulk in the head during a play. Here’s the clip:

This one is tough on so many levels.

Spoiler alert: I’m going to try and not be a total homer, but I’m also not going to take on a holier-than-thou attitude either.

So, watching Faulk on the ice after the hit is one of the tough parts. You never want to see a man injured like that, especially when he’s not a Bortuzzo and a headhunter himself. (I’m not saying I want Bortuzzo injured, just that it’s hard to feel TOO sorry for a guy who was trying to cause injuries himself.)

The situation is also tough because we know Kadri has a past. Technically, he cannot be considered a “repeat offender” because he’s had a clean record for more than the specified 18 months. However, we also know the DoPS operates however it pleases. And Kadri has been suspended twice in the playoffs before, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Watching that hit, it’s so tough to say what’s going on. When you slow it way down, of course it looks bad. But force yourself to watch it at full speed. It’s hard to see if what happened was an intentional hit. Naturally, Kadri is going to claim it was not. And, naturally, Blues players have already claimed it was.

Only God and Kadri can know the truth. However, he got a major and an ejection from the game for that hit. He also got the corona version of an in-person hearing, a Zoom call, from the DoPS. That fact suggests he’s likely to face a suspension and a lengthy one at that.

Personally, I think he should get two games. If you’re operating under the suspensions prevent further crimes — which is kind of how our whole justice system works — then you should allow that he’s reformed from his previous suspensions. He’s surpassed the guideline of 18 months, so you must take this hit at face value.

With that in mind, I don’t think he deserves to be out the rest of the series (thought that could be just two games since Colorado is up by two). And I don’t think his punishment should extend beyond this series.

I’m also not going to turn on Kadri and call him garbage, say he doesn’t deserve to be on this team or deserve to be in this league. I understand why opponent fans — especially Blues fans — would fling those insults. After all, for some of us sports is an appropriate way to express an “us vs. them” mentality. I don’t think we, as Avs fans, should express those thoughts about a player who’s been a contributor to the team.

The Colorado Avalanche face the Blues tonight. Kadri is highly unlikely to be in the lineup. Jost is almost assuredly going to be on the ice.

Considering the St. Louis Blues have been headhunting all series, Kadri might be the luckier of the two at the moment.