Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension


Canucks' Torres won't face finesuspension

Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted: 12:38 p.m. Updated: 2:23 p.m.

By Tracey Myers

Vancouver forward Raffi Torres was not suspended for his shoulder-to-head hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, TSN was reporting on Monday morning.

Torres received a two-minute minor for interference on the hit that came late in the second period. And thats the part that coach Joel Quenneville was more focused on than suspension possibilities.

I have no problem with as far as the league views it. They know the standards, they know the criteria. They do a good job with that. The call on the ice is where we got hurt the most, Quenneville said. It shouldve been a major penalty because he didnt touch the puck. Hit like that you could be exposed to severe injuries and thats the intent of a major call.

READ:'s take on Torres not being suspended or fined

Quenneville added that Seabrook is likely to play Game 4 tomorrow, one the Blackhawks need to win to keep the series alive.

Torres had just come off a four-game suspension to play in Game 3. Asked if he was surprised Torres didnt get a suspension on the hit, Seabrook said, yep.

With his history I think that hit deserves a suspension. Not going to complain about that. Its a fast game. Things happen quickly. You have a split second to make a decision. He wasnt trying to hit me in the head but at the same time if theyre not going to suspend somebody for that I just dont understand that.

I think he kept his elbow in but he hit the head first, Seabrook continued. As far as Im concerned thats the only thing I felt. The rest of my bodys feeling the rest of it today. Whether or not he was targeting (my head) he made contact with the head first.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said he hadnt heard from the league at the start of his press conference and had no comment on the matter.

Henrik Sedin said the league had a good look at it and they saw what a lot of guys on the ice saw, thats its one of those things that you have to be accountable to know where guys are on the ice. Its nothing we really think about.

Seabrook kept playing after that Torres hit but the Blackhawks made him go off for evaluation after another one, when there was about three minutes remaining in the second period. He came out after second intermission and played the rest of the game. He said suspensions should be based on the hits, not on the injury or lack thereof.

WATCH: Quenneville says hit on Seabrook was brutal

I think if the leagues suspending based on the injury from the hit or whether the guys missing games or lying there getting carried off on the stretcher, I think thats wrong, he said. Theyre trying to take head hits out of the game and youve got to make the suspension the same judgment on whether or not he was taken off on a stretcher or playing the next shift.

NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell issued the following statement on the ruling:

"When Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) was unanimously adopted by the General Managers in March 2010, there was no intention to make this type of shoulder hit to the head illegal. In fact, at that time, we distributed a video to all players and teams that showed a similar hit on a defenseman by an attacking forward coming from the opposite direction behind the net and stated that this is a 'legal play'.

"This hit meets none of the criteria that would subject Torres to supplemental discipline, including an application of Rule 48: He did not charge his opponent or leave his feet to deliver this check. He did not deliver an elbow or extended forearm and this hit was not 'late'."

What is and isnt considered a legal hit is always up for debate. A player having the puck, being at a certain part of the ice, there seems to be different criteria for everything.

I just think at the end of the day its a hit to the head. A hit to the head is a hit to the head. To me its pretty simple, said Duncan Keith. At the end of the day there seems to be a lot of confusion. Its just a never-ending debate going on about it.

Jonathan Toews said it was frustrating that there was no suspension.

At the end of the day were looking out for our teammate. It has to be at least a borderline head hit, he said. Considering what Torres has been up to lately, obviously theres no coincidence that something like that would happen. So its frustrating the league didnt take action in our favor.

The Blackhawks have bigger concerns on their plate at the moment. Theyre down 3-0 to the Canucks. It would be tempting for them to look for payback in Game 4 but it also wouldnt be smart.

That cant be our focus right now, Seabrook said. Our focus is to win and take it back to Vancouver and try to win the series. Thats the best way we can get back at them.

Quenneville said hes optimistic that Dave Bolland, whos been out with a concussion since March, could play in Game 4. The same is true for Bryan Bickell, who missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury. Tomas Kopecky is out for Game 4.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

Alex DeBrincat records third career hat trick, but Blackhawks lose to Blues in overtime

For Alex DeBrincat, it was probably nice to hear Chelsea Dagger again.

But how about three times?

The 20-year-old rookie snapped out of a 13-game scoring drought in a big way on Sunday night, recording his third hat trick of the season. DeBrincat did all he could to help give the Blackhawks two points, but they only came away with one in a 5-4 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues.

DeBrincat is now the first rookie in franchise history with three hat tricks in the same season, passing Steve Larmer. His last two hat tricks came against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 27, 2017 and Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 25.

"It's pretty cool," DeBrincat said of his third hat trick, "but I wouldn't be able to do that without the guys we have in this locker room and the linemates I've had. Most credit to them."

Entering Sunday, his last goal was on Feb. 17 against the Washington Capitals.

"Obviously it's frustrating when you go through a slump that like that but what I've learned is to stay positive and there's other things you can help your team win with," DeBrincat said. "Just kind of focus on those things."

He netted goals No. 23, 24 and 25 on the season, tying Patrick Kane for the team lead. He is also tied for second among goals scored by a rookie this season.

DeBrincat opened the scoring with nice wrist shot on the power play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead midway through the first. With less than a minute to go in the period, he tapped one home in front of the net to make it 2-0.

In the third period with the game tied at 3-3, DeBrincat put his team in front 4-3 with 3:13 left in regulation. 

“We were talking about [DeBrincat] today, it had been a while since he had scored," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But whether he scores or not, he does a lot of good things in the game, and he’s very aware of his positioning, and doing the right things, finding pucks, getting in shooting lanes, or denying passing lanes. So he’s effective in a lot of ways, but nice to see him score a nice power-play goal today.”

But Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo even things up again after a shot from the point found its way past J-F Berube with 1:22 left. Patrik Berglund would net the game-winner in overtime to hand the Blackhawks a loss.

"I feel like we’ve played well and we just came up a little bit short," DeBrincat said. "I feel like that’s been the theme of this whole season.”

The pros and cons of reuniting Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on Blackhawks top line


The pros and cons of reuniting Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on Blackhawks top line

Jonathan Toews' offense usually comes in spurts. We're seeing it again right now.

But it's no coincidence his numbers have spiked since Patrick Kane joined him on the top line.

After recording another two points in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Blackhawks captain has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past eight games; he had 11 points in his previous 23 games total.

Toews also reached the 20-goal mark for the 11th straight season, joining Kane and Alex Ovechkin as the only three active players to accomplish that feat to open their NHL careers.

Kane has seen his offensive production pick up, too. He has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his past 13 games after going five straight without one, which was his longest point drought of the season.

When the two of them are on the ice together at even strength, they control 57.9 percent of the shot attempts. It hasn't quite translated on the scoresheet (14 goals for and 17 goals against) maybe the way it should, but they are certainly spending far more time in the offensive zone than the defensive end and are generating a high volume of shots.

So yes, reuniting the dynamic duo has worked stats-wise.

But it comes at a cost:

— Vinnie Hinostroza and Nick Schmaltz haven't scored in six straight contests.

— Alex DeBrincat's season-long goal drought is up to 13 games.

— Artem Anisimov's last even-strength goal came nine games ago.

When you put Kane and Toews together, you risk losing some balance across the lineup and that's why Joel Quenneville has always been reluctant to go to that nuclear option. He prefers when opposing teams are forced to play 'Pick Your Poison.'

Ideally, you'd like to spread out the scoring, but one thing is for certain: The Blackhawks are better when Kane and Toews are each producing offensively, whether they're apart or together. 

When the wins start to dry up though — and they have — that's normally when it's time to try something different.

Perhaps more importantly, the last thing you want are those scoring droughts mentioned above to stretch even further and get inside the younger skaters' heads, then carrying it with them into the offseason.