HomeNHLSt. Louis Blues 2020-21 Report Cards: Robert Bortuzzo
St. Louis Blues 2020-21 Report Cards: Robert Bortuzzo
June 14, 2021
The St. Louis Blues’ 2020-21 season had its highs and lows however finally resulted in disappointment after the group fell in 4 video games to the Colorado Avalanche in Spherical 1. On this sequence, we’ll look again on the season, participant by participant, and consider every participant’s efficiency as a person, with an eye fixed in the direction of their future with the group.
Veteran Blues defenceman, Robert Bortuzzo continued his imply streak in his eleventh NHL Season, utilizing his measurement and energy to influence the sport. He has demonstrated over his profession that he can play properly alongside the blue line and could be a supply of vitality within the defensive finish, by no means shy to combine it up and lay a tough hit towards the opposition.
Whereas Bortuzzo could also be a power with out the puck, his talents when he has possession of it are subpar. By no means recognized to be a scorer, he continued his streak of low-scoring campaigns and was a considerably non-factor when contained in the offensive zone. He has confirmed he has the abilities to be a serviceable participant for the Blues, and even at 32-years-old, he has proven no indicators of regression. Whereas he’s no star participant, he makes the gritty performs which might be essential to win all through the season and has demonstrated his price to his membership.
What Went Proper: Powerful as Nails
It’s an understatement to say Bortuzzo excels with physicality. He has made a profession for himself primarily based on his potential to put out arduous checks, block photographs, and by no means being shy to drop the gloves if the decision is made. He’s a warrior by and thru, at all times seeking to put his group able to win.
Whether or not it comes from his potential to spark vitality for his membership with an enormous hit or from sacrificing his physique to make a key play defensively, Bortuzzo makes the little performs that may very well be the distinction between successful and dropping a recreation. His model of play is infectious for his group, encouraging them to play arduous and make a gritty play for his or her group.
An awesome locker room presence, Bortuzzo is a optimistic issue for the Blues on and off the ice. His vitality and hard-nosed persona make him a driving power for depth on the Blues.
What Went Fallacious: Low-level Stick Expertise
His potential to make essential performs defensively over the course of a recreation shouldn’t be one thing to be ignored, however Bortuzzo continued to come back up quick this season when it got here to his general manufacturing offensively. Not possessing an important shot nor the hockey IQ to create scoring possibilities for his teammates, he could be a legal responsibility with the puck.
With just one objective on the 12 months, coming on the tail finish of the season (a game-winner in addition), it’s clear to see that Bortuzzo shouldn’t be going to be inserting any sense of fear or stress on defences when he enters the offensive zone. He’s most effective offensively when he’s strolling the blue line, retaining the puck-moving, by no means holding on to it for longer than a couple of seconds. When he does maintain onto the puck for an prolonged time frame, this normally ends in a turnover and a harmful rush ensuing into the Blues defensive zone.
With no sense of offensive identification, this makes it extremely troublesome to roll out Bortuzzo’s defensive pairing down the stretch of a detailed recreation when trailing. His struggles to supply offensively have harm him for everything of his profession, and whereas it is probably not his recreation, he has disillusioned on that finish of the puck mightily as soon as once more.
5 factors (one objective, 4 assists)
85 hits (fourth on group)
Remaining Grade: C+
A incredible participant for his function, Bortuzzo had a stable season. By making powerful performs over the course of the season, and instilling his presence on the ice on a nightly foundation, he demonstrated he nonetheless has price for the Blues. An awesome match within the Blues game-plan, it’s clear that he’s comfy in his present state of affairs.
Bortuzzo was stable within the playoffs for the Blues, however on account of harm, he would miss each video games at dwelling that resulted within the Blues being swept by the Avalanche. His potential on the defensive finish would have come in useful when taking over one of the vital fierce offences within the NHL, however sadly for him and his group, it was not meant to be.
In relation to the larger image, nevertheless, Bortuzzo is a replaceable asset. Whereas he could play his function properly, there are many workhorses throughout the NHL/AHL that might play the function to an identical stage of manufacturing. Due to this, in addition to his non-existent offensive talent set, he earned a remaining grade of a C+. This exhibits that whereas he’s a stable participant, his efforts weren’t a sufficiently big issue within the Blues’ success this season.
What’s Subsequent for Bortuzzo?
With another 12 months remaining on his present contract, Bortuzzo might want to elevate his play subsequent season. He might want to not solely impress the Blues however your entire NHL as he’ll enter the free company pool at 33-years-old with a restricted skillset.
If Bortuzzo can discover a technique to turn out to be a extra productive participant offensively subsequent season and proceed his glorious play defensively, he might play his manner into a brand new contract. Signing a brand new deal in 2022 and prolonging his profession will give him what would probably be his final likelihood at making one other run on the Stanley Cup, in addition to time to evolve his recreation and turn out to be a extra precious member for his membership.
Initially from Owen Sound, Ontario, Matt Eichhorn has spent the previous 4 years learning the sphere of Sport Media at Ryerson College. Eichhorn is a life-long hockey fan with expertise working in a wide range of media roles across the recreation. At present, Eichhorn covers the St. Louis Blues for The Hockey Writers.