There will be no suspension for Raffi Torres for the Vancouver Canucks winger's blatant hit to Brent Seabrook's head in Game 3 on Sunday.
The skewed decision by NHL chief of discipline Colin Campbell left Seabrook and his teammates angry and confused.
“I think he kept his elbow in, but he hit the head first,” Seabrook said Monday. “The way it looks to me is the head was hit first. Whether or not he was targeting it or not, he made contact with the head first.”
Seabrook was expecting a suspension from a league he can't figure out, but who can?
“With his history, I think that hit deserves a suspension,” said Seabrook, who felt the NHL took into consideration that he was able to finish the game after a brief time in the dressing room.
“I don't think he was trying to hit me in the head, but I just don't understand that,” Seabrook said. “The league suspending based on the injury of the hit and whether or not the guy's missing games to whether or not the guy is lying there being carried off on a stretcher, I think that's wrong,” Seabrook said. “They're tying to change the game and take head hits out of the game. You've got to make the same judgment whether or not he was lying there and taken off on a stretcher or whether he played the next shift.”
Here's reaction from Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith:
“When you're going out there trying to hurt people, that's not the way to play,” Sharp said.
“It's just a ridiculous hit,” Keith said.
According to one report, the NHL considers the area behind the net a so-called “hitting” zone, where the rules are different than in the open ice because are more north-south than east-west.
“If you look at the tape Seabs is going for the puck; he doesn't have the puck yet and he gets a blatant hit right to the head,” Keith said “Do guys need to have their heads up? Absolutely. If that's the case you can say that about any hit.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville surprisingly wasn't upset about the lack of a suspension for Torres. He was more angry that referees Brad Watson and Greg Kimmerly failed to hand out a major penalty on the ice.
“I've got no problem with that as far as how the league views it,” Quenneville said. “That's their job and they do a good job. They know their standards and criteria. I just think the call on the ice is where we probably got hurt the most, knowing it's a major penalty because he didn't touch the puck. A hit like that, you can be exposed to severe injuries and I think that's the intent of a major call.”
Meanwhile, Quenneville said Dave Bolland likely would play in Game 4 on Tuesday and that he was hopeful Bryan Bickell could return from a wrist injury. Tomas Kopecky will sit out a second straight game with an upper body injury.