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.