Friday, April 29th, 2016

Game Three


More is probably going to be written about the Raffi Torres hit than the fact that the Vancouver Canucks are poised to sweep the Stanley Cup Champions out of the playoffs in the first round. The NHL can’t blame anyone except themselves if hockey again takes a backseat to arguments about the rules. My reading of the rulebook says that the hit was legal despite the fact that Seabrook was hit in the head. Mirtle pretty much nails it with this quote from Daniel Sedin:

“What’s wrong, what’s right? We don’t know, you don’t know and I don’t know if the refs know.”

That’s the problem. I don’t think the league’s decision in this case – whatever they decide – will offer any clarity.

Update: No suspension. Go figure.

Other notes:

1) Not surprisingly, the Hawks had their best game of the series so far. The Canucks had a fairly typical road game. They were not dominant, but Luongo was great and the team eventually found a way to win. Even though the Hawks played better they could not sustain any pressure – or score – except on the power play.

2) Even with their season on the line, the Hawks could not find enough urgency to really compete after the Canucks finally took the lead. They looked like a beaten team.

3) Jonathan Toews:

“Everyone wants to look at the stats all year and talk about what [the Canucks] do well and how good of a team they are. That’s whats frustrating. We’re not exposing them for what they really are. I think a lot of people outside this locker room are giving them too much credit. Maybe we are as well. We know that we can be a better team and we just haven’t shown it yet. A lot of people … are giving them too much credit and maybe we are as well.”

Huh? What – besides a really good team – are the Canucks, really? Does this mean Toews thinks the Hawks have taken the Canucks too lightly? What can Chicago expose besides excellent goaltending, an outstanding defense, and forwards that – the Sedins excepted – skate like the wind and come at you in waves?

Toews is whistling past a graveyard.

4) Chicago may scrape together enough to extend the series on Tuesday night, but I’ll be surprised to see it. They are a beaten team and they look like a beaten team.

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11 Responses to “Game Three”
  1. A&A says:

    I thought that Toews comment was really strange. He’s “frustrated” that people see the Canucks as a good team? What?

  2. Watching the Torres hit on Seabrook, how does a hit from the front of the guy be even considered a blind side hit?

  3. Melissa says:

    What a crybaby!(Toews)
    If he wants to “expose” the Canucks,why hasnt he as a “C”,not been scoring his butt off????
    I hate sore losers!
    Can he count?President Trophy,Toews?
    Did he think just because Chicago won the last two years,they would Automatically win this year?

    Vancouver has “the total package”.They have been working on building this team for years.They have worked hard,and it has paid off!

    I live in St Paul,MN from Aug to May(I also own a home in Montreal,where I visit Monthly,and go home for the summer).I saw allot more Canucks game this year,as they are in the same WILD conference,and it is earlier to watch on NHL package ,in Central time zone.

    Vancouver seems to have the total package.
    Everybody is “willing “to block shots”.
    I hope they go far.When I mean far,I mean the Cup.
    My first team is of course the Canadiens,but it would be unrealistic to think,they can win a cup.

    Vancouver can,and I think they will!
    I hope the cup comes back to Vancouver-CANADA ,where it has not been in 18 years!

    Go Canucks!

  4. Tom says:

    What a crybaby!(Toews) If he wants to “expose” the Canucks,why hasnt he as a “C”, not been scoring his butt off???? I hate sore losers!

    I like to be a little more charitable. He’s trying to convince himself and his team. “They aren’t that good. We can beat them. We just haven’t been able to do it yet.” Whistling past a graveyard. Toews has not been scoring because he hasn’t had the puck very much. When he has had it, he hasn’t had the time or the space to do much with it. He’s trying.

    I like beating sore losers. I don’t think much of Patrick Kane (the person, not the hockey player) but I hope he’s a sore loser. Good losers are the ones who bug me. It is not nearly as much fun beating a good loser. (This is the reason I strive to be a good loser. The high road is always the way to go. It isn’t much, but any edge I can knock off the victory is something.)

  5. Boxcar says:

    Wow Tom you are the same as therest of them. There is no way on earth you would say the same thing if it was, lets say Brower on Bieksa. It always amazes me how seemingly normal, intelligent people can see things so one sided when it comes to hockey. “Our guy did nothing wrong” “Its the league’s fault” or my favorite “Theres no place for that in hockey”, it’s all blah blah blah, but I did expect better than that of you.
    I don’t understand why Seabrooke was loooking backwards when he was skating behind the net but Torres did charge him, just like Downie charged Lovejoy tonight.
    The Canucks look strong, they have a good mix of grit and skill, and as long as Louie doesn’t implode they will have a good run.

    • rsm says:

      Boxcar, rulebook vs. spirit of the rules. By the book that hit merited no suspension (didn’t leave his feet, didn’t lift the elbow, in the allowed area, guy had head down, didn’t keep pumping his legs etc.), by the spirit of it, no hits contacting the head, he’s suspended.

      Every commentator got the spirit right, and Torres, who probably read the rulebook and watched endless hours of tape about how to hit people correctly during his suspension followed the book. That explains his anger, because he knew he followed the rules.

    • Tom says:

      What did I say? I think my position on this hit is the same as on every like hit.

      1) If it was not illegal, it should be. The league and I disagree about what should be legal.

      2) If I was the referee I call a penalty every time, even though I think it was legal. What’s another phantom call? I’d whistle Torres down for hooking. As a referee, I’d make a “bad” call every time a player failed to respect an opponent’s safety.

      3) I don’t believe the league can use the same discretion on suspensions. Referees blow calls all the time. The league has to communicate and enforce clear rules with every decision.

      4) By my lights, the Kostopoulus hit on Brad Stewart was legal and he should not have been suspended. The Torres hit on Eberle was also legal. Neither should be legal. Both times the league made a decision I considered inexplicable. I expected the same in this case.

      5) The whole thing is a fiasco because the league has failed to communicate and enforce clear rules. Honestly, had you heard of the “behind the net hitting zone” prior to this case? How do you know what is legal and what is not legal? I’m with Daniel Sedin. I don’t know.

      6) I don’t care whether Torres is suspended. I do care whether I understand the rules. If Torres had gotten ten games, my update would have read: “Ten games. Go figure.”

      • Boxcar says:

        I understand what you are saying, but just tell me honestly you would say the same thing if the hit was on Bieksa? Head shot shmead shot, it was a charge, plain and simple. Seabrooke should have had his head up for sure, but as I said before it was still a charge.
        I guess it’s okay for you to get caught up in playoff hysteria you guys have certainly waited long enough. However, you know better than most (Steve Moore incident) the way players think, eye for an eye. Since Torres took out a skilled Hawk player and wasn’t punished, I would definetly have my head up tonight if I was a Sedin. Hopefully I’m dead wrong in my old school thinking and its a good, hard fought, clean game but…………

    • Tom says:

      Just to clarify further, I get what Cam Cole is saying in this column in the Sun this morning and what Roy McGregor is saying in the Globe.

      They are right in the sense that the league did not go far enough with rule 48, but they are wrong to believe the league should enforce play as if the league had gone far enough.

  6. John from Chicage says:

    The Canucks are who we THOUGHT they were! That’s why we took the damn field. Now if you want to crown them, then crown their ass! But they ARE who we THOUGHT they were! And we let ’em off the hook!

  7. Tom says:

    I understand what you are saying, but just tell me honestly you would say the same thing if the hit was on Bieksa?

    What can I say? I thought the Steve Moore hit on Naslund was a legal hit at least when it was thrown. (If we see the same hit tonight, it will be a penalty.) The Torres hit was certainly legal at this time last year and the rules apparently haven’t changed in respect to that hit.

    But I’ll be honest enough to admit I don’t know what will be called and I don’t know what is a suspendable offense any more. I don’t know how to offer an opinion about a given hit when I don’t understand the rules.

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