Apr 052011
 

I’m not going to sit here and defend Raffi Torres’ hit on Jordan Eberle. Although Eberle reached and had his head down, Raffi shouldn’t have hit the Oilers’ prized rookie while he was in a vulnerable position; in today’s NHL, that’s a 5-minute major, a game misconduct, and perhaps, some supplemental discipline as well. If you missed the hit, here it is:

Reaction to the hit was interesting. Almost instantaneously, Twitter was abuzz with Oilers fans making it sound as if Raffi was the dirtiest player this side of Matt Cooke and his hit was the dirtiest hit in the history of hockey. What they seemed to forget was that back during Edmonton’s Cup run in 2006, Raffi, while donning an Oilers jersey, threw a similar hit on the San Jose Sharks’ Milan Michalek.

If you ask me, both hits are similar. The only difference is, back then Oilers fans saw nothing wrong with it.

What do they say about those who live in glass houses?

At the end of the day, I think Colin Campbell will spin his wheel of justice and give Raffi a timeout. And when he does, I don’t think even the most hardcore Canucks fan will argue it’s not deserved.

For what it’s worth, my guess is that Raffi will be suspended for the final two regular season games. I’m sure there will be some who think it’s not enough; but probably, these will be the same people who thought that same hit was a good hit when Raffi played for their team.

  • http://twitter.com/vancitydan vancitydan

    Have to disagree on the suspension.

    Like Raffi said “finishing my hit, and he had his hit down…I gotta finish my hit or I am not in the league”. He was pretty adamant that it was clean, and even Eberle admitted afterwards that he “put myself in a bad spot”.

    Knowing the wheel of justice, and the fact the kid was out on the PP, and it was essentially a hockey play gone bad, I will be surprised by anything more than a fine.

  • http://twitter.com/kengan0124 Ken Zhou

    This hit reminds me of the Steve Moore hit on Naslund. Both Naslund and Eberle stretched out for the puck, and end up getting hit by a player with little intent on playing the puck.

    Maybe a suspension, but first round of the playoffs? Say what?

  • http://www.leftcoastbydesign.ca/ Chris (@lyteforce)

    Before the recent GM meetings and the addition of the concussion protocol, I’d agree that a suspension would be unlikely. But I’m thinking the NHL is all about perception right now and agree with JJ that the wheel o’ justice will be given a spin. My guess is he’ll get a game, maybe two.. and simply be fresh for what I’m hoping is a long playoff run.

  • big nipples

    Ya, uhh. No oilers fans around here liked torres, so many were happy he was finally gone. He does NOTHING but hit and scrap, he even said if he dont hit then he doesnt have a job. Same about stortini, difference between torres and stortini is that torres is way more tough, stortini was a little pansy who tried to work more ob his game then his fighting and hits. Whats funny is I hate both for the complete opposite reasons..

  • http://twitter.com/canuckshockey Canucks Hockey Blog

    @Ken Zhou – I doubt he’d get suspended for the first round. Unless Colie and Gary reaaaaally hate the Canucks. (Oh wait…)

    @vancitydan – I’ll be surprised if he escapes with just a fine, not because of the legality of the hit, but moreso because of the NHL’s hypersensitivity about head shots. To be honest, I feel more confident about Maggie spinning the wheel of justice than anyone else in NHL HQ in New York.

  • Wingnuthunter

    Both hits were dirty. Hits to the head are wrong. In the hit on Eberle, Torres ignored the puck completely, his post-game analysis of the hit was complete BS. He was indeed “finishing his hit” — it was just a dirty and very likely an illegal one — and he was not making a play for the puck. As the commentator says in the footage of the Michalek hit, “there are lots of ways to hit a player” — this shouldn’t be one of them. 5 games for Torres.

  • guest987

    YOU don’t know what Oiler fans thought of the Michalek hit. Most of us thought it was a bad hit then too.

    Keep in mind the NHL is trying to put a stop to this type of hit . In 2006 it wasn’t considered such a bad hit – in 2011 it’s suspendable… and Raffe knows that but he chose to hit a rookie in in game that didn’t matter. I think the no-brainer her is Raffe.

  • Austinmoreside

    very true

  • Ghamplas

    i’m a die hard oiler fan and i hated the hit on Michalek. I didn’t think the hit on Eberle was nearly as bad but that being said it is precisely the type of play they’re looking to eliminate.

  • Wingnuthunter

    Okay, so I was off by a game, but the message is clear.

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