The St. Louis Blues have lost eight of their past 11 games, are near the bottom of the NHL standings, were embarrassed by the Vancouver Canucks Sunday, and frustrations boiled over at practice Monday.
As you can see in the video at the top of the page, Bortuzzo, 29, cracked his teammate with three hard right hands before Sanford, 24, even dropped his gloves. The third shot appeared to stun the winger as coaching staff moved in to separate the two.
It’s unclear at this time what exactly sparked the quarrel, but Blues coaches and players downplayed the incident following practice.
“That happens. Guys are frustrated and they should be. So sometimes in practice it boils over and things happen,” Blues interim coach Craig Berube told reporters. “That’s what happens because they do care and they want to be successful and they want to win.”
Forward Pat Maroon rather enjoyed it.
“That’s part of hockey, right?” Maroon said. “We’re still teammates. Sometimes people get heated and frustrations build up. I love that stuff. I think it’s great. That’s me though. I don’t know if anyone else likes it.”
St. Louis will look to get back in the win column Tuesday when they host the Florida Panthers.