Update (10/24, 10:00 AM): Borowiecki will receive some discipline.
Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki will have a hearing today for elbowing Boston’s Urho Vaakanainen.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 24, 2018
In the first period of tonight’s game, defenseman Mark Borowiecki floored Bruins rookie Urho Vaakanainen with an elbow to the face.
Dirty, or a tough play? Judge for yourself:
Alternate angles, from Chris (@CrzyCanucklehed):
(If you’re on mobile and don’t see the highlight above, click here.)
I’m not sure how you defend that one, but people certainly will.
Sure, you need to protect your goalie. That’s all well and good. Generally, you protect your crease with a shove to the chest, a cross-check off the arms or a face wash. This went above and beyond that.
For those claiming it was inadvertent, Borowiecki looked up, saw Vaakanainen coming and raised his elbow:
Surprisingly (or not surprisingly, if you’re cynical), no penalty was called on the play.
Borowiecki has been suspended before, so it will be interesting to see if the league takes a look at it or not. It’s clearly a hit to the head, and it’s clear that Borowiecki meant to go high.
Vaakanainen appeared a bit dazed after the play. He left the ice but remained on the bench, and hasn’t played a shift in the second period as of the time of this post.
EDIT (9:19 PM): The Bruins issued an update on the kid, and it’s not good:
UPDATE: Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) will not return to tonight's game.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 24, 2018
Hopefully the league deals with Borowiecki.