Blackhawks focused on beating Coyotes, not Torres

Quenneville, Toews, Shaw on facing Raffi Torres

Blackhawks focused on beating Coyotes, not Torres
February 7, 2013, 3:45 pm
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(Credit: AP Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Marian Hossa and Raffi Torres have said that they’ve put that Game 3 hit behind them. So now it’s finally onto the game.

The Blackhawks and Hossa will see Torres for the first time since that April game, and Ray Emery gets the goaltending start when they play the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Arena. For the Blackhawks, it’s not necessarily about retribution or getting even with a fight. It’s about continuing the winning ways they’ve had in this early season.

“The most important thing is getting the two points. That’s what we can do for Hoss and for Seabs,” said Jonathan Toews, referring to when Brent Seabrook suffered a concussion off a Torres hit two playoff series ago. “To get into that stuff after the whistle, playing those little games within the game, doesn’t get us anywhere. Our focus is to get out there, get the win, and that’s the best payback we can get.”

Emery was dazzling in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, and coach Joel Quenneville said earlier this week that Emery was likely to get this one against the Coyotes, who he beat in the Blackhawks’ second game this season.

“He’s coming off a tremendous game, he played here last time and we won and he deserves a chance to get back in there,” Quenneville said.

This matchup already has some heat, thanks to a very tight and very physical first-round playoff series last season. So throw a little more pepper on it now.

“It’s going to be a pretty intense, fast-paced game. It’s going to be pretty exciting,” said Andrew Shaw, who had a three-game suspension during those playoffs for his hit on Mike Smith. “You never forget what happened (with the Torres hit). Guys are just going to play hard, go to the net, go to the dirty areas, and we’ll find ways to win.”

The Blackhawks are nearing the end of this six-game road trip – only Central Division rival Nashville remains after tonight. There’s no need for foolish or anger-driven moves tonight. They’ve done too well up to this point to make costly errors in that regard.

“We want to play hard,” Quenneville said. “Our motivation is to win, that’s what it’s all about. Getting even (with a win), that settles the score for us. That’s basically going to be our approach.”