Word came out today that Vancouver Canucks’ notorious jackass Raffi Torres will not be suspended for his crushing hit on Brent Seabrook in Game 3 on Sunday. And before any of the Canucks fans who have been chiming in on this site begin foaming at the mouth, read what one of your own had to say about Torres and his hit.
Seabrook sounded off on Torres, saying the hit deserved a suspension. Ignoring the fact Seabrook is obviously biased toward the decision being the recipient of the hit, remember that Torres just recently came off a suspension for a cheap shot on Oilers’ rookie Jordan Eberle.
In a brief Twitter discussion I had today with the The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle, he had this to offer regarding the NHL and their policies toward these types of hits:
For a repeat offender, you’d think the NHL would make an example during the playoffs. The NHL states that behind-the-net hits should be expected by players more than a hit in the neutral zone because hits are more north-south rather than east-west in a high-traffic area. Hmm…
I’m not even too upset this happened to a Blackhawk and it happened to be douchbaggery of a Canuck, but more that the NHL’s consistency is wildly inconsistent. More players will get hurt while the offices try and figure it out.
UPDATE: Colin Campbell released this statement regarding the hit:
"“When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a ‘legal play’. “This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: he did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not ‘late’.”"
Mirtle posted a story today quoting Jonathan Toews as saying the Canucks may be receiving too much credit during their dominant run to a 3-0 series lead. While I appreciate that Toews is a bit shell-shocked the Blackhawks haven’t been able to produce much of anything in this series, don’t count me in as one of the surprised. Here’s what Toews had to say:
"“Everybody wants to look at the stats all year and talk about what they do well and how good of a team they are. And that’s what’s frustrating because we’re not exposing them for what they really are… A lot of people outside of this locker room are giving them too much credit and maybe we are as well.”"
The problem is the ‘Hawks have been talking like this all season. How many times have we seen quotes saying, paraphrased of course, “We need to get better,” or, “We’re better than we’re showing we are,” or “We’re not very happy right now.” … ? We’ve been hearing this stuff since November, and nothing has changed.
If the Canucks are getting too much credit, than maybe we would have seen the Blackhawks team Toews is speaking of over the course of the last 180 minutes. Prove it in Game 4, then again in Game 5, and come back home to the United Center in Game 6 back in the series if that’s really the case.
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