Hit on Seabrook 'brutal, major... absolutely'

Hit on Seabrook 'brutal, major... absolutely'

Sunday, April 17, 2011
Posted: 11:20 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Defenseman Brent Seabrook came back from the shoulder-to-head hit that Raffi Torres put on him in the second period. But Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was still very unhappy with the call or lack thereof on the Canucks left winger.

Seabrook was facing the boards when Torres came in and went shoulder first into Seabrooks head. Seabrook crumpled to the ice for several seconds before returning to the bench. He played a shift or two and got hit another time or two - before going off to be re-evaluated.

Torres was penalized two minutes for interference. Quenneville thought it should have been higher.

Brutal, major, absolutely. They missed it. We couldve scored four goals on that play, said Quenneville, who added Seabrook did have to go off at the end of the second period to settle down. Were lucky hes a big Western Canadian kid. Someone else wouldve been on a stretcher.

Torres did not talk to the media after Sundays game. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault saw the Torres hit differently.

Hockey is a collision sport, theres a lot of intensity. I compare that hit to (Ryan) Getzlaf on (Dan) Hamhuis, and (Getzlaf) didnt even get a two-minute minor. I didnt think it was a penalty.

"Obviously you never want to see a player get hurt, and I understand where (the league) is going with it, but hockey is a physical game. I think each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game without players getting hurt, but in a collision sport theres always going to be injuries.

Seabrook said he didnt have control of the puck and didnt see Torres coming.

I dont know what I was looking at to be honest with you, he said.

Torres just came off a four-game suspension the last two regular-season and first two postseason games - for his hit to the head of Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle on April 5.

I havent watched the hit yet so I dont want to comment on it, Seabrook said. Hes a hard-nosed guy. Hes been in trouble with the league before for doing the same kind of thing. Im going to leave it at that and let the league look at it and whatever they do is what we have to deal with.

Asked if he thought the hit was worth a suspension, Quenneville said I dont have to worry about that. Its not my call. The guy didnt even get through his first game back off one.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

PITTSBURGH – Tanner Kero's been thrown into a lot of different situations in his time with the Blackhawks, be it third- or fourth-line center or penalty kill.

But with Artem Anisimov out, the second-line center spot has become new top-line, left-wing spot: The Blackhawks will keep trying guys out until they find one that works. Kero's the latest to get that opportunity, and since it worked well on Monday, he'll be there again on Wednesday.

Kero will center Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane again when the Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins. The line had a good start to Monday's game against the Lightning in Tampa, scoring the team's first two goals — Kero assisted on Panarin's opener.

Coach Joel Quenneville liked Kero's first go-around there.

"Defensively he's in a good spot — he's usually in a reliable spot in his own end — he made a couple of nice plays offensively and didn't change his game too much," Quenneville said. "It's not easy playing with guys at that next level. It's certainly a great challenge and a great opportunity, so I thought he did a great job, took advantage of it. We'll see how he does going forward but we'll keep him in there for [Wednesday's] game and that gives us some more options."

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Learning on the fly can be part of a rookie season, especially when injuries arise. Jonathan Toews said Kero's handled everything well this season.

"Come to think of it, it's one of those little things that maybe goes over my head but he's definitely one of those versatile players who's as consistent as ever," Toews said. "He has, for his age, an incredible level of maturity and he carries that with him wherever he goes. You're seeing offensive improvement, too. He was making some good plays with Bread Man and Kaner. He's showing he can do it all and I think his work ethic and attitude's a source of that success."

Earlier this season Kero was with guys like Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza. They were all familiar with each other from their Rockford days, and that showed. Playing with two guys you don't know so well? It's a bit of a challenge, and one the three talk out. But ultimately, Kero said you have to rely on your instincts. 

"You go over things before the game and on the bench, get a feel for what you might want to do. But then you just have to play hockey," Kero said. "You have to trust your game, make plays. You know they're going to make plays with the puck so you try to use your speed and get open and try to go to the net, create space for them and a little traffic in front and try to capitalize on opportunities."

Anisimov will be out another 1-2 weeks. Asked if Anisimov has started skating back in Chicago yet, Quenneville said, "I don't think so but I'm not positive. But he's progressing." Filling Anisimov's skates isn't easy, as evidenced by the Blackhawks' search for his temporary replacement. Kero is the third guy to get that shot, and he took advantage of his first showing.

"Obviously it's a great opportunity to play with two great players," Kero said. "You just try to do everything you can and do the little things right."

Briefly

- Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith didn't practice on Tuesday but both are expected to play against the Penguins.

- Corey Crawford gets the start against Pittsburgh.

- Hartman, scratched after a rough game against the Florida Panthers, is probably back in against the Penguins.