St. Louis, MO – Last year’s leading scorer for the Preds will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury.
But, that’s not the story.
How Viktor Arvidsson was injured is raising questions throughout the NHL.
Saturday night in St. Louis, Robert Bortuzzo was called for a delayed penalty for cross-checking Arvidsson into the Blue’s net, and after turning his head to express his displeasure about the call, he turned back toward the Predators’ forward and delivered an even bigger cross-check to the spine.
After the second hit, referees were forced to blow the play dead and send Bortuzzo to the penalty box. All the while, Arvidsson hobbled his way to the Predators’ bench and did not return.
We later learned on Sunday he would miss four to six weeks with a lower body injury. But that wasn’t the only player who would miss time. Bortuzzo was handed a four game suspension for the dirty hit. He is also a repeat offender, having been suspended before for similar hits.
According to the timeline the team released, Arvidsson will miss at minimum 13 games, and could miss upwards of 18 games including the Winter Classic in Dallas on January 1st.
So, four games for inflicting the injury and at least three times that for being on the receiving end of a dirty play.
“I thought it was pretty vicious, but those are decisions higher up than me,” said head coach Peter Laviolette. When asked if he thought the punishment fit the crime, he responded, “That’s not for me to say.”
His teammates say they didn’t see the delayed hit.
“If you see it on the ice you have to respond. It’s a vicious play, it’s not a hockey play,” said Predators captain Roman Josi. “There’s nothing we can do now so we just got to go out and win a hockey game tonight.”
Two days after coming out on top 3-2 despite the injury, the Predators host the Blues tonight, Monday night, inside Bridgestone arena.
Even though Bortuzzo won’t be on the ice, players smirked when asked about avenging their teammate’s honor.
After all, revenge is a dish best served cold: on the ice.