Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension

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Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension

Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted: 12:38 p.m. Updated: 2:23 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

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.

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling shines in fill-in duty as Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Scott Darling found out at 8 o'clock this morning that he was starting for an ailing Corey Crawford. Considering he did this back in December for a few weeks, adjusting quick for one game was fine.

"It's kind of my job," Darling said.

And Darling, once again, did his job.

Darling stopped 30 of 32 shots and Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 games. They're one point behind the Minnesota Wild, who made their splashy trade-deadline move in acquiring Martin Hanzal on Sunday. But the Blackhawks, thanks to veterans regaining their form, a top line finding its rhythm and youth consistently improving, are just rolling right along.

"We had a great start to the game. I thought Darls was excellent all night, great stretch there in the last 10 minutes where we fight through some tough shifts, particularly in the last couple of minutes in our end. But good win," coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at the nice plays on the goals, it was kind of a comparable ending to the outdoor game: tied and about the same time they scored, we scored (tonight). Big two points for us."

Jonathan Toews scored his 16th of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 remaining in regulation. Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blackhawks already knew they'd be without Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) for at least a day or two when they found out Crawford couldn't go this morning. As Quenneville said Darling was strong once again, denying the Blues all but twice (a 2-on-1 goal from Magnus Paajarvi and a power-play goal from Alex Pietrangelo).

Toews and Kane (power-play goal) staked the Blackhawks to a 2-0 lead early before the Blues tied it in the second. But late in the third period Anisimov took the feed from Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

"I saw the puck all the way. It was easy to pick up," Anisimov said. "When you don't see the puck at the last moment and it comes, it's hard to receive and prepare for the next move. But I saw it all the way. Easy to prepare for the next move."

Speaking of next moves, do the Blackhawks make any more before the trade deadline. General manager Stan Bowman said on Friday, following the acquisition of Tomas Jurco, that he'll keep talking and listening but likes the group he has right now. If Bowman's made moves it's for what the Blackhawks have needed, not because of another team's trades. The Blackhawks like what they have right now. Winning nine of 10 and continuing to trend in the right direction, they should be careful not to disrupt what they've got going.

"I think we're, as we've said lately, trending the right way. We're playing solid. I think all four lines are contributing in every which way," Toews said. "I love our group right now. Everyone is getting better individually, contributing more and more and it's a lot of fun to see the way we're playing right now. We know that the ceiling is way higher and we can keep getting better too."

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

Quick hits: Blackhawks start strong in win over Blues

No Niklas Hjalmarsson, no Corey Crawford, no problem for the Blackhawks.

Certainly you want those two back as soon as possible. But while Hjalmarsson nurses an upper-body injury and Crawford deals with an illness, the Blackhawks just keep going. Credit their all-around game, which has continually gotten better in recent weeks and was there for the most part again in their 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks did what they wanted to during the Minnesota Wild’s bye: they won both games and just trail the Wild by a point now. So onward we go. Will anything happen by Wednesday afternoon, when the trade deadline hits? We’ll see but we’re also going to caution messing up what’s becoming more of a good thing by the day.

Anyway, onto the notables.

What Worked: The Blackhawks’ start. For the first half (or so) of the season you wondered why the first 20 minutes were so difficult. Like a few other glitches to their game, they’ve gotten past this one, too. The Blackhawks looked sharp at the start on Sunday night, with the top-line players (Nick Schmaltz pass and Jonathan Toews finish) once again giving them the 1-0 a few minutes into the game.

What Didn’t Work: The second period. A few things went wrong during the next 20 minutes. The Blackhawks’ possession dipped, their penalty kill failed and their power play had a quiet second chance. Perhaps some of that was the Blues waking out of their first-period slumber – they’re coming off a bye, and we’ve documented what happens off of those. But the Blackhawks did not follow up their great start accordingly.

Star of the game: Tempting to give it to Scott Darling, given the fact that he found out this morning he’d be getting the start after all in Corey Crawford’s illness absence. But Patrick Kane had a tremendous evening, too, from the power-play goal to the secondary assist on Artem Anisimov’s goal to playing extra minutes down the stretch. Can we call it a draw?

He Said It: “It’s certainly been fun to watch Schmatzy, particularly the last three games where he’s gone to a different level. And Hartsy’s [Ryan Hartman’s] been pretty good all year. Their development is important four our team success right now. We’ll need these guys right on through. We’ll still need some young guys as we’re going into it as well. The lineup on Wednesday, who knows? We’ll talk about it over the next couple of days and we’ll see what happens. Tough to say.” Coach Joel Quenneville on if the team will look any different following Wednesday’s trade deadline.

By the Numbers:

500 – Career points for Duncan Keith, who hit the milestone with his secondary assist on Patrick Kane’s power-play goal.

13 – points (five goals, eight assists) for Jonathan Toews during his current six-game point streak.

22 – Goals for Artem Anisimov, which ties a season high for him previously set in 2013-14 with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

6 – Consecutive games in which Richard Panik has had at least one point, a career high. He has four goals and five assists in that stretch.