Coyotes' dirty hits don't stop with Torres


Coyotes' dirty hits don't stop with Torres

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.

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Doug McDermott scores career-best 31 to lead Bulls past Grizzlies

Doug McDermott scores career-best 31 to lead Bulls past Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Doug McDermott scored a career-high 31 points, Jimmy Butler had a pair of key baskets in the closing minute and the Chicago Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies 108-104 on Sunday night.

The Bulls broke a 104-all tie with 25 seconds left on a 15-footer from Butler and a pair of free throws by McDermott. Butler also had a go-ahead 18-footer with 53 seconds left and finished with 16 points to help Chicago win its second straight.

Taj Gibson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 28 points and eight assists, and Marc Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Chicago was without second-leading scorer Dwyane Wade, who did not play on the second night of a back-to-back after the Bulls beat New Orleans at home Saturday.

The game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties, with neither team holding a double-digit lead.

Most of McDermott's damage came in the first half after the Bulls struggled shooting in the latter part of the first quarter. McDermott came off the bench to reverse the trend.

McDermott scored 20 points in the first eight minutes of the second quarter, moving Chicago's lead to eight. He had 22 points for the half and the Bulls led 52-46 at the break.


Bulls: Nikola Mirotic missed his fourth straight game dealing with an illness. ... F Paul Zipser, a rookie from Germany, started his second game and second straight after coming off the bench in his first 10 appearances this season. ... McDermott converted a four-point play in the second quarter. ... McDermott's 22 first-half points were more than his total for the four previous games (21). ... Chicago scored 14 points in the first quarter, a season low for the opening frame. ... The Bulls are now 4-5 on the second night of back-to-backs.

Grizzlies: Gasol made a pair of 3-pointers in the first half, marking 17 games this season he has made multiple shots from outside the arc. ... Memphis made 11 3-pointers in the game and has converted at least 10 3s in 20 games this season, including 11 of the last 14 games.


This is the 15th season Memphis has hosted a game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. The Grizzlies are 6-9 in the holiday game.

In recognition of the holiday, Memphis wore special MLK50 Pride uniforms. The black jerseys have sea foam blue numbers, letters and piping with the full T-shirt look instead of the normal sleeveless. The piping replicated the railing in front the rooms at the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated in 1968, and the blue color was similar to the doors on the rooms.


Wade's absence meant missing a reunion with Memphis coach David Fizdale. Both left the Miami Heat organization after last season - Wade signing with the Bulls and Fizdale getting his first head coaching job in Memphis. Fizdale said he is sort of a "basketball romantic" and would like to have seen Wade retire in Miami. But he predicted after the player's career "his statue will be out front and (Wade) will be remembered as the great player that he should be."


Bulls: Return home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Grizzlies: Memphis travels to Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday night.