CHICAGO -- This should be a no-brainer right? The NHL is getting a second chance at Raffi Torres exactly a year to the day he sent Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook to the showers with a high hit when Torres was a member of the Vancouver Canucks. This time it was Marian Hossa who got nailed and sent to the hospital. He might end up being OK, but Torres should be done for the series -- and maybe more.
“First off, I hope he’s all right,” Torres said after the Phoenix Coyotes’ 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday. “But as far as the hit goes, I felt like it was a hockey play. I was just trying to finish my hit out there, and as I said, I hope he’s all right.”
That might be Torres’ argument, but after Andrew Shaw got busted for three games, Torres is bound to get a whole lot more. Shaw’s victim, goalie Mike Smith, finished the game. And played the next one. Hossa did not. And may not.
“Who knows what will happen to Raffi Torres, I don’t know what to expect anymore. I don’t think anyone does, so we’ll see,” Jonathan Toews said. “It will probably be a surprise.”
Just as it seemed like the league had set a very low bar with how they dealt with Nashville’s Shea Weber and his head slam of Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg, they raised it higher than anyone expected when Shaw was banned for three games.
Bottom line: A charging and interference infraction combined with a head shot and a bad history should end Torres for the rest of the playoffs. If Shaw’s suspension was a message to the rest of the playoff teams then Torres didn’t understand it. Now simply comes the punishment. The time for messages is over.