Matt Bartkowski Destroyed Brian Gionta With A Vicious Hit

Matt Bartkowski of the Boston Bruins laid out Buffalo’s Brian Gionta last night with a vicious hit. That’s a hard fact. What’s murkier is the legality of the blow.

Bartkowski was assessed a five-minute major for interference, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. Some are speculating he’ll also be suspended.

But was it really that dirty? I’ve watched the clip several times and I don’t think Bartkowski was going for a headshot. I’d say Gionta was more or less defenseless but even that is approaching the gray area.

The fact that the entire Sabres team reacts as if the hit was dirty is tough to ignore, but one also has to consider they’re going to back their teammate no matter the context of the collision.

Either way, the force was just astounding and it’s no wonder Gionta did not return to the game.

[H/T: Puck Daddy]