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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hockey Update: The Canucks and the Penguins Could Get Swept Tonight and Raffi Torres Has Been Suspended Indefinitely

Posted by on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START! This year's playoffs are nuts. So much fighting, so many gnarly hits, so many confusing calls by Brendan Shanahan. A lot of good news (Preds are up 3-1 in their series! The Panthers came back from 3-0 and WON!), and weird news (the Red Wings wouldn't let the Preds play ping pong!?) but right now all the talk is about the suspensions, the dirty hits, and Shanahan's inconsistency.

So, first, the big news: Phoenix's Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely for last night's hit on Marian Hossa. Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher, but released from the hospital late last night. He's confirmed to be out for Game 4. Torres will have a hearing on Friday with the Department of Player Safety. Have a nice vacation, Torres! You are a repeat offender, you left your feet, you hit Hossa when he didn't have the puck. You're screwed.


In other recent suspension news: Arron Asham has been suspended for four games, Andrew Shaw got three games, James Neal and Nicklas Backstrom both got one game, and the pane of glass that hit David Krecji is out for the rest of the playoffs.

Moving on, both the Penguins and the Cancuks are down 3-0 in their series against the Flyers and the Kings, respectively. Who'dathunk!? If you told me at the beginning of the playoffs the Canucks would be on the verge of being swept, I'd have laughed in your face. (Crosby isn't too happy about it—this gif of him knocking away a Flyers' glove is pretty bratty/amusing.) The Penguins play tonight at 4:30 PST and the Canucks play at 7 pm PST. Get out your brooms.

And finally, a weather fact from the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar: "April 18, 1862. Spring ice breakup on the Bécancour River in Trois-Rivieres, QC, inflicted property damage, especially to bridges. At night the icy flood waters carried away 3 houses inhabited by 20 people, of whom 10 lost their lives—including 2 mothers and 8 children. The rest took shelter in canoes, where they were exposed to a pitiless storm."


Comments (19) RSS

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Matt from Denver 1
Glad that asshole got a suspension, and I hope it's for the rest of the playoffs. As bad as Webber's headslamming was, this was magnitudes worse. At least Hossa got to go home last night.

I doubt Vancouver will let themselves be swept, but they're going one-and-done this year.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2

From the depths of Tim Horton's I shall spit at thee!
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Hernandez 3
Quite frankly, I'm surprised to see shit like this happening in the playoffs. It's a display of incredibly poor discipline, and I place a lot of blame on the coaches for failure to control their players.

It's Hockey 101: don't take stupid, cheap penalties during the playoffs. We learn this when we're just kids. You should be playing your most disciplined, hardest, and cleanest hockey during the postseason. Power plays and suspensions hurt your team.
Posted by Hernandez on April 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
@ 3, based on some of the things I've read over the years, this is the result of things like the instigator penalty which, some will say, neutered the enforcer and allows pests to target skill players with impunity. I don't know how true that is, but last night played out like the textbook example given by the people who believe this argument. Torres wasn't penalized, but Hossa's teammate who went after him was, and given a game misconduct to boot.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 18, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 6
So much stupid* violence and hate! Seriously, never seen it like this before. I like intensity and passion in the playoffs but prefer seeing that manifest in speed and skill and effort.

*I'd rather see a face to face fight break out, than any of these dumb ass cheap shots and dangerous hits.

Some consistency with the punishments being handed down might help...but who knows. It's been a strange first week.

Posted by ArtBasketSara on April 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
orange&black 7
Really need the Flyers to finish this, and rest up for round 2. Kimmo needs the break!
Posted by orange&black on April 18, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Posted by Megan Seling on April 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 9
Right in front of a ref, too. Either very stupid, or in such a homicidal rage he just didn't give a shit. Or possibly both.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on April 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
I'm surprised that Schenn got up from that cross check to the neck/face by Asham.

The NHL needs to sit down and seriously figure out how to control the excessive disrespect and violence in the sport, with the hitting to the head region in particular, otherwise with the way things are accelerating, a player is going to get killed.

That being said, I think if the Flyers end their series in 4,5 games with minimal injuries, and continue to play at this level more or less with all four lines contributing offense and Bryzgalov getting into a better place confidence wise and making big saves, I think they'll win the cup.
Posted by neo-realist on April 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
As much as it pains me to say it, the Flyers have outclassed the Pens this series. Fleury has been lousy, and the defense in front of him even worse. And Crosby...I don't even know what to say. That move with the glove was really childish.

I'll still pull for the Pens tonight, but I can honestly say that if they lose tonight, they deserve it.

Oh, and I think that, if the Pens want to put their money where their mouths are, they will suspend Asham for games beyond what they league already imposed, assuming they don't get rid of him in the off season.
Posted by Sheryl on April 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
The NHL could all but eliminate deliberate blows to the head if they really wanted it. If suspensions happened every single time (regardless of whether the head shot caused an injury) and started at 2 weeks (yes, even in the playoffs), went up sharply from there for repeat offenders and particularly flagrent offenses, and came along with a 2-week suspension for the coach every time one of his players gets suspended for a head shot, then poof! they would be gone in a hurry.

The fact that the NHL has not done this obvious thing is an indication that they do not actually want to eliminate head-hunting, only control and manage it.
Posted by kitsapien on April 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
RatGirl 13
Megan, it'd be nice to see some mention of the other series in the playoffs... ie Bruins vs Capitols. There are fans (of both teams) around here, you know!

Sad face.
Posted by RatGirl on April 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
I missed last night's kerfluffles as I was with David Schmader watching his version of Showgirls. (Great work DS). However, I have been really saddened by all of the overt violence that has gone on during this year's playoffs. In recent years, the playoffs marked the end of fighting, and the start of getting down to nitty gritty hockey. This year has been a total zoo. It is too bad some really great hockey has been marred by unnecessary hits and dirty play. I'd much rather see the fist fights than the head shots during play. Lets hope the rest of the playoffs are cleaner than these first games.
Posted by SeattleKim on April 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 15
If I'm a Yotes fan, I'd happily trade a suspended Torres for an injured Hossa. Sad and cynical truth, yes, but truth.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on April 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
@ 12 - yes, exactly. Torres is a dirty piece of shit, but this is at least the sixth time he's done something like this in the last year - he hit Eberle in the head at the end of last season, got suspended 4 games, and immediately came back and immediately did the same to Seabrook and didn't get anything. This season, he elbowed Andrew Ference and didn't suffer at all, beyond getting his head beaten by Adam McQuaid, and then elbowed Jan Hejda for a 2500 fine before jumping into Nate Prosser's face for a 2 game suspension, with those hits all in about a week of each other, and now this. 5 really shitty, dirty hits, and he's suspended for 6 games, which is what Sean Avery got for what he said about Elisha Cuthbert.
Posted by UnoriginalAndrew on April 18, 2012 at 5:25 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 17
Pens up 9-3 headed into the third. Sorry philly fan there @7, not ending tonight. Go Pens.
Posted by mikethehammer on April 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
I think the efforts to turn hockey into a european-style game are troubling. Cheap shots are not called for, especially leaving your feet. However, it is important to remember that removing players is part of the game.

My high school team went from a 3-20 record playing like little children, to a record of 17-6 with no major roster changes..just got a coach from the canadian minor leagues who taught us how to play tough. we paid a price: accumulated 178 stiches between us and I still hold a state record for penalty minutes for a goaltender. But we were dominant and terrifying.
Posted by Chris Jury on April 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this

Is that you, Reg Dunlop??
Posted by N in Seattle on April 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM · Report this
cressona 20
Echoing Sheryl's sentiments @11. I'm a devoted Penguins fan, but their behavior in Game 3 was an embarrassment. I caught Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook on one of the ESPN channels the other day, and he was ashamed of the violence by Neal and Asham, especially considering that their owner, Mario Lemieux, has been a leader in trying to take the thuggishness out of the game.

Writing this after the Penguins-Flyers game tonight. Nice to see the Pens come to life, and nice to see the refs have so little tolerance for nonsense.

Also, Looking For a Better Read has a sad but true point @15. Let's hope Hossa plays again in the series because deliberate cheap shots like that strike at the integrity of the game.
Posted by cressona on April 18, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this

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