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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Blackhawks are hoping to even the score in more ways than one in Game 4 against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center Thursday night.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, the team remains furious over the vicious hit that took out Marian Hossa.
The Blackhawks are down 2-1 in their best-of-seven series against Phoenix, and they absolutely must win the game Thursday in the eyes of many fans, because afterward, they will have to head back to Phoenix without Hossa, who is still recovering from the vicious hit.
Hossa had to be taken out of the game on a stretcher Tuesday night. He was treated and released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
On Wednesday, the NHL responded by suspending Torres indefinitely, pending a hearing for a more specific penalty. Still, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was fuming.
“There’s no remorse at all, I think, with a guy like that. When he was taken out and had to get carried off on a stretcher, and he probably doesn’t feel bad about it at all, so that’s not hockey to me,” Toews said.
Toews may be right. So far during this playoff season, there have been nine suspensions in a week – the most since 1939.
And while the Coyotes players were declining comment, their coach did weigh in on Torres’ crushing hit.
“I don’t think there was any malicious intent on Raffi’s part. He’s a hard hitter. That’s the way he plays the game,” said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. “And he turned coming full-speed, caught a guy right in the chest. Unfortunately, the player was injured.”
Hossa is doing better, and he is communicating with his teammates.
“He’s texting all the boys back, so he’s probably busy with his phone right now,” Toews said. “Don’t want to keep him too busy. We want him to rest and relax.”
While Hossa can text, he cannot play in the crucial fourth game Thursday night. Thus, Toews is calling upon his teammates to win one for Marian.
“Like I said, the way we’re going to get even is if we go out there and win tomorrow, and we play our game; we stick to our plan,” Toews said. “Getting into all that garbage didn’t get us anywhere in this series.”
Torres is set to meet with the league disciplinarian, and likely will not be playing again in the series.
As for Hossa, there is hope that he will come back, but his loss is much greater for the Blackhawks than Torres’ absence is for the Coyotes.