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04-03-2013, 11:35 PM
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jmelm's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Country: Canada
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Robert Bortuzzo Appreciation Thread (and Bort+Elmer pairing)

Well, the only real bright spot in the game tonight was the play of Robert Bortuzzo. Not only was it nice to see him FINALLY get into a game, but he was our best defenseman. There could easily have been excuses of how he may need a "re-adjustment period" to get acclimated to playing against NHL competition after being out of the line-up for a while, but he stepped right in and did a fantastic job. I have to say that I am thrilled that we retained this guy going forward, and I see him as someone who can be an integral part of our D-corps both short and long term.

Also, I have to say: I absolutely loved the fact that Bortuzzo and Despres were paired together, and see this as a GREAT pairing both short and long term, as well. These two have some familiarity from WBS, but even beyond that, I just think they make a great pair. I don't think Despres is ready to play along side of Letang on the top pair right now, and yet Bortuzzo+Despres makes for what could be a great shut-down pair for a lot of years. They are both very good at moving the puck, and Bortuzzo makes very quick & reliable reads, which helps balance out some of Simon's growing pains & mistakes. So I would be a huge advocate of keeping these guys together so they can continue to build on their chemistry, which I think can help us now, and pay huge divends in the future.

Now, unfortunately, I'm not sure that Bortuzzo will be in our starting group for the playoffs or get some games in down the stretch, but I sure hope he gets the chance. Either way, I'm hopeful he can, and I'm very excited for what he can bring to our team; and I think he and Despres are a great fit together right now.

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