Coyotes' dirty hits don't stop with Torres

Coyotes' dirty hits don't stop with Torres
May 16, 2012, 3:16 pm
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Raffi Torres' vicious hit on Marian Hossa was enough to infuriate Blackhawks fans and earn the repeat offender a 25-game suspension. On Thursday, he will appeal his punishment, but he's unlikely to get off early.

On Wednesday night, Phoenix continued a series of dirty hits and slashes even without Torres, which could earn the Coyotes additional suspensions and ultimately kill their chances to advance in the playoffs.

A hat trick by Jeff Carter and goal by Dwight Kings earned the Kings a huge 4-0 shutout against the Coyotes in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

Losing two consecutive games at home has to hurt, but the Coyotes' reactions could end up ailing their team much more than the loss itself.

Here's a look at some of the plays that could lead to suspensions for Phoenix:

Shane Doan started the streak of bad hits, and the Phoenix captain was thrown out of the game after checking Trevor Lewis from behind, causing him to bleed from the nose and upper lip. Although it wasn't pretty, this is the hit I feel can be excused the most. Doan's check could have really injured Lewis, but he had a lot of speed going into the hit and Lewis turned at the last second:

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Martin Hanzel boards Dustin Brown from behind, leveling him onto the ice:

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Mike Smith decides slashing his stick into Brown is appropriate, and somehow Brownie gets the suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct. I understand Los Angeles' captain has a reputation of embellishing hits on the ice, but I'm pretty sure anyone would have that same reaction if a 6'4, 215 pound hockey player did this to them:

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After last night's game, Smith and Hanzal should both earn a suspension for their hits. Neither were appropriate or legal and could have really affected Brown's future throughout the postseason. But the chances of suspending Smith are highly unlikely--putting Jason LaBarbera in the net during the Western Conference finals would ultimately kill any chance the Coyotes still have of advancing.

If anyone will get suspended from Wednesday night's matchup, it will be Martin Hanzal. Maybe Torres will have a watch buddy during the remainder of the postseason.