Raffi Torres vicious hit on Marian Hossa in the opening minutes of last nights game has been dissected every way, and if Brendan Shanahan does the right thing Torres wont be taking the ice for some time. What is not being discussed is that the hit is without a doubt a blatant retaliation for Andrew Shaws hit on goalie Mike Smith.
In my previous post, I made note of Shane Doans pregame comments that proved prophetic in the wake of Hossas injury. As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, Doan told the media, its time to get personal."
When Duncan Keith was suspended for elbowing Daniel Sedin a few weeks ago, the Canucks went out of their way to let the media know that Keiths hit was pre-determined. Why are Doans comments being overlooked?
Speaking with reporters after the game, Torres didnt have much to say about the hit.
As far as the hit goes, I felt like it was a hockey play. I was just trying to finish my hit out there, Torres told NHL.com before being asked about his skates leaving the ice in an apparent charge. Im not going to answer that.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Smith offered some well wishes for Hossa before pleading his case that the NHL needs to quickly change their image.
Its scary; your heart goes out to him and his family. Its past hockey, said Smith. Obviously, the head hits have to be cut down. Its peoples livelihood. We all love to play and its a fun sport, but people have families and kids at home, and wives, and when youre getting into head and concussion issues around the whole league, we need to put a stop to it.
Captain Jonathan Toews acknowledged that the Blackhawks are angry, and will do whatever it takes to win the next game for Hossa.
Of course were angry. Its a natural reaction for anybody, the Captain told the A.P. Everyone loves Hoss, respects him and loves him as a teammateWe wanted to win that game tonight for him, but came up short. Weve got to focus on getting the next one for him.