Tuesday night at the United Center was an absolute disgrace. In game three of the 2012 playoffs, Marian Hossa left on a stretcher.
In the first period, Phoenix forward Raffi Torres, hit Hossa. Torres’ hit was late and he completely left his feet.
Not one of the four referees saw the hit. Torres was not thrown out of the game; he didn’t even receive a minor penalty.
Now, I personally was at this game, and it was beyond scary. Hossa lay on the ice for probably over five minutes and was helped by staff onto a stretcher and was taken to a nearby hospital. While on the ice, it didn’t look like he could move.
In game two, rookie Andrew Shaw, unintentionally ran into Phoenix goaltender, Mike Smith. Smith fell to the ice like he was shot. The whole Phoenix organization claimed it was a blind side hit (even though Shaw was skating towards the front of Smith) and deliberate.
Shaw was suspended for three games.
All Phoenix did was complain at how bad the hit was, but now the roles are reversed.
After the game Torres said, “I thought it was a hockey play. I’m just trying to finish my hit out there.”
Phoenix head coach, Dave Tippett kept saying he didn’t see the video of the hit and thought it was a hockey play.
Coyote’s captain Shane Doan said, “I didn’t see it, I haven’t seen it, but from what I was told it wasn’t bad.”
Obviously, the Hawks team has completely different views on the horrendous hit.
Coach Q said it made him sick and called the referring a “disgrace.” He also called the hit brutal.
And Jonathan Toews said “It wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to do something like that again.”
Toews was also very upset because he said he heard the Phoenix bench laughing as Hossa was being strapped to a stretcher.
What makes this hit even worse was that this was the same player (Torres) that illegally hit Chicago’s Brent Seabrook’s head during game three of last year’s playoffs. He was not suspended for the hit and Seabrook missed game four and five with a concussion.
Raffi Torres, a fourth line nobody, is a repeat offender and his illegal hit left a star player being wheeled out on a stretcher.
If his suspension is anything less than ten games, expect outrage throughout Chicago.
But even if Torres is suspended for 30 games, it won’t matter. He is a fourth line energy player, completely replaceable, while Hossa is one of the best two way forwards in the league. No matter what, this is a lose-lose for Chicago.
All we can do is hope Hossa is okay. The Blackhawks released a statement saying Hossa left the hospital and is being watched closely at home. There is no timetable for his return.
What the Hawks need to do now is make the Coyotes pay on the scoreboard and win the series.
Phoenix won game three in overtime and now holds a 2-1 series advantage.