Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted: 12:38 p.m. Updated: 2:23 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
Vancouver forward Raffi Torres was not suspended for his shoulder-to-head hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, TSN was reporting on Monday morning.
Torres received a two-minute minor for interference on the hit that came late in the second period. And thats the part that coach Joel Quenneville was more focused on than suspension possibilities.
I have no problem with as far as the league views it. They know the standards, they know the criteria. They do a good job with that. The call on the ice is where we got hurt the most, Quenneville said. It shouldve been a major penalty because he didnt touch the puck. Hit like that you could be exposed to severe injuries and thats the intent of a major call.
READ: ProHockeyTalk.com's take on Torres not being suspended or fined
Quenneville added that Seabrook is likely to play Game 4 tomorrow, one the Blackhawks need to win to keep the series alive.
Torres had just come off a four-game suspension to play in Game 3. Asked if he was surprised Torres didnt get a suspension on the hit, Seabrook said, yep.
With his history I think that hit deserves a suspension. Not going to complain about that. Its a fast game. Things happen quickly. You have a split second to make a decision. He wasnt trying to hit me in the head but at the same time if theyre not going to suspend somebody for that I just dont understand that.
I think he kept his elbow in but he hit the head first, Seabrook continued. As far as Im concerned thats the only thing I felt. The rest of my bodys feeling the rest of it today. Whether or not he was targeting (my head) he made contact with the head first.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said he hadnt heard from the league at the start of his press conference and had no comment on the matter.
Henrik Sedin said the league had a good look at it and they saw what a lot of guys on the ice saw, thats its one of those things that you have to be accountable to know where guys are on the ice. Its nothing we really think about.
Seabrook kept playing after that Torres hit but the Blackhawks made him go off for evaluation after another one, when there was about three minutes remaining in the second period. He came out after second intermission and played the rest of the game. He said suspensions should be based on the hits, not on the injury or lack thereof.
WATCH: Quenneville says hit on Seabrook was brutal
I think if the leagues suspending based on the injury from the hit or whether the guys missing games or lying there getting carried off on the stretcher, I think thats wrong, he said. Theyre trying to take head hits out of the game and youve got to make the suspension the same judgment on whether or not he was taken off on a stretcher or playing the next shift.
NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell issued the following statement on the ruling:
"When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.
"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: He did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."
What is and isnt considered a legal hit is always up for debate. A player having the puck, being at a certain part of the ice, there seems to be different criteria for everything.
I just think at the end of the day its a hit to the head. A hit to the head is a hit to the head. To me its pretty simple, said Duncan Keith. At the end of the day there seems to be a lot of confusion. Its just a never-ending debate going on about it.
Jonathan Toews said it was frustrating that there was no suspension.
At the end of the day were looking out for our teammate. It has to be at least a borderline head hit, he said. Considering what Torres has been up to lately, obviously theres no coincidence that something like that would happen. So its frustrating the league didnt take action in our favor.
The Blackhawks have bigger concerns on their plate at the moment. Theyre down 3-0 to the Canucks. It would be tempting for them to look for payback in Game 4 but it also wouldnt be smart.
That cant be our focus right now, Seabrook said. Our focus is to win and take it back to Vancouver and try to win the series. Thats the best way we can get back at them.
Quenneville said hes optimistic that Dave Bolland, whos been out with a concussion since March, could play in Game 4. The same is true for Bryan Bickell, who missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury. Tomas Kopecky is out for Game 4.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.