The Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes series has had a feeling of constant deja vu with every game ending in overtime. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, it was a repeat of Game 1, as the Coyotes won on a goal from Mikkel Boedker that looked eerily similar to Patrick Kane‘s Stanley Cup winning goal. It was a tough angle shot that snuck by Corey Crawford as Boedker walked in untouched, ironically with Kane on the ice.
Noticeably absent from the ice for the Blackhawks in overtime was Marian Hossa, who in the first period took a vicious hit from Raffi Torres. From the multiple slow motion replays it could be clearly seen that Torres left his feet which launched his shoulder into Hossa’s head. Hossa was down on the ice unable to get up on his own power and was taken off the ice on a stretcher.
The Blackhawks released a statement about Hossa’s condition from team physician Dr. Michael Terry.
“Marian Hossa suffered an upper body blow in the first period of tonight’s game. After initial evaluation on the ice he was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further testing, which yielded encouraging results. He has been released from the hospital, and we are monitoring him closely at home. We anticipate a full recovery in a timetable yet to be determined.” (Chicago Blackhawks)
There was no call on the play as officials say the hit went “unseen.” (@TramyersCSN) The Coyotes following the hit, were given a power play as Brandon Bollig was assessed a roughing penalty and a ten minute misconduct for responding to the hit.
Head Coach Joel Quenneville voiced his displeasure about the officiating and the hit following the game.
“The refereeing (Tuesday night) was a disgrace,” Quenneville said after the Coyotes skated to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Hawks to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“It was a brutal hit,” Quenneville said. “You can have a multiple-choice question, it’s ‘All of the Above.’ I saw exactly what happened, it was right in front of me, and all four (officials) missed it.” (Chicago Tribune)
Captain Jonathan Toews expressed his frustration about the Torres hit on Hossa and Torres’ possible suspension.
“It was frustrating that (Torres) got to stay in the game,” Toews said. “because it wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to do something like that again. If nothing happens to him, I don’t see why he won’t try it.”
On the subject of a possible suspension for Torres, Toews said in frustration: “Who knows? I don’t know what to expect anymore, I don’t think anyone does, so we’ll see. It will probably be a surprise I guess.” (Chicago Tribune)
Quenneville and Toews seem justified in their frustration with officiating and Torres. What Torres did was despicable, he threw a dangerous hit to the head of another player. Torres was not even penalized and was on the ice for the entirety of the game, while Hossa was being evaluated at a hospital because apparently not one of four officials saw. Further frustrating is that the NHL is struggling to properly and consistently discipline its players for such dangerous actions.
There seems to be an utter lack of respect by some players in their actions for their fellow players. Regardless of the outcome of the game, this is the most disappointing to me, not only as a Blackhawks fan, but as a hockey fan. In a time when player safety and concussions are supposed to be such an important issue to improve upon, it seems as if instead of progression there is regression.
The only retaliation I want to see is in the goal column, not in players laying on the ice and I was glad to see the Blackhawks not respond with reckless physical play.
More important than hockey or anything else, is a person’s quality of life in the future. I sincerely hope it doesn’t take a tragedy for people to realize this.