Very scary moment in the first period during Tuesday's Game 3 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes.
Marian Hossa was cutting toward center ice after getting the puck knocked away from him when he was met by Raffi Torres who laid a shoulder to the Blackhawks forward's chin. On replay, it was clear Torres launched himself into Hossa.
Hossa was knocked unconscious and had to be taken from the ice on a stretcher:
Via CSN Chicago, here's the full sequence:A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
Torres was not penalized on the play. Brandon Bollig of the Blackhawks was assessed a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for going after Torres. Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune Tweeted that Hossa left the rink in an ambulance.
The following television timeout, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was interviewed by NBC Sports Network's Joe Micheletti and his was response was simply: "It was a brutal hit. I can't believe four guys missed it. It makes me sick."
[ Related: Torres defends Hossa hit as 'hockey play' ]
Torres is a repeat offender. He was fined $2,500 in December for elbowing Jan Hejda and later suspended three days later for two games after charging Nate Prosser. You'll recall he was banned for the final two regular season games and two playoff games at the end of last season for elbowing Jordan Eberle in the head.
If there's case for a Matt Cooke 2011 Suspension 2.0, this hit is the one. An update on Hossa's condition will come tomorrow, right in time for Torres' hearing with Brendan Shanahan; and seeing as how injury plays a role in whether to suspend and the length of a suspension, in this situation it shouldn't matter. Torres left his feet. Made contact with the head and the result was ugly.
As Shanahan explained in Alex Ovechkin's suspension for charging Zbynek Michalek:
"The moment Ovechkin launches himself into the air prior to the hit he becomes responsible for any contact to the head."
We'll likely hear some form of that when Torres earns yet another suspension sometime this week.
UPDATE: Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry said on Tuesday night: "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. "
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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