Raffi Torres defends Marian Hossa hit as ‘hockey play’; Toews, Blackhawks furious
Game 3 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes began under a cloud of controversy, as Chicago rookie Andrew Shaw was suspended hours earlier for a Game 2 collision with Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.
But by 11:51 of the first period, the series had a new, more brutal controversy: Coyotes forward Raffi Torres driving his shoulder into the head of Marian Hossa, which led to the Blackhawks forward leaving the game on a stretcher and being taken to a local hospital. The Coyotes eventually won the game in overtime, 3-2.
[ Video: Blackhawks' Marian Hossa leaves game on stretcher after Raffi Torres hit ]
How did Torres defend his actions?
"First off, I hope he's all right. As far as the hit goes, I just felt like it was a hockey play, just trying to finish my hit out there," said Torres. "The last thing I'll say is a I hope he's all right."
Did he leave his skates? Does he think he'll be suspended?
"I'm not gonna answer that," he said, before leaving the postgame interviews.
Here are some other reactions from the Coyotes, via CSN Chicago:
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, were as angry about the hit as they were the fact that Torres wasn't penalized. From CSN Chicago and Tracey Myers:
According to officials, a penalty was not called on Torres because the referees did not see the play.
"It was a brutal hit. You can have a multiple choice question it's 'All the above,'" Quenneville said. "I saw exactly what happened, it was right in front of me. How four guys missed it tonight it was hard. The refereeing tonight was a disgrace."
Jonathan Toews was equally baffled.
"We've got four guys out there. When there's a guy getting carried off on a stretcher, you think that there might be something wrong with what happened," Toews said. "It's why it was frustrating that [Torres] got to stay in the game, 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."
Torres will hear from the NHL about the hit; as a repeat offender, he'll get a hefty suspension. (Although "the rest of the playoffs" seems excessive.)
Regarding Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry said on Tuesday: "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. "
Related NHL video from Yahoo! Sports: