By Connor McKnight–
CHICAGO (WSCR) — Raffi Torres won’t be suspended for his massive hit on Brent Seabrook from Sunday night’s game three. Nearly without exception, every Blackhawks player and coach felt as though the hit was suspension-worthy.
Seabrook, after the game was over, said that while he hadn’t yet seen the hit, he was not playing the puck. Vancouver coaches and players said Seabrook did have the puck.
The “did he or didn’t he” argument extends beyond Seabrook’s possession of the puck. It also moves on to the leagues’ “intent to injure” provision. Watching the replay and having seen it live, I’m not sure how the league could skate around the fact that Torres–who’s just coming off a suspension for this kind of thing–did seem to have that intent.
While determining “intent to injure” is even more of a guessing game than puck possession, the league has enough problems with it’s image concerning head hunting. It might just be smarter–especially in a series that’s nearly decided–to hand out a suspension.
Regardless, Torres’ hit is not the reason the Hawks lost Game three…or Game two or one for that matter. The upcoming post-mortem will no doubt offer numerous explanations as to why this Blackhawks team did what it did and it won’t boil down to one big hit.