The Chicago Blackhawks will meet up with the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night in the desert for the second time this season, but it will be the first time that they have seen Raffi Torres on the ice since last year’s playoffs.
Torres recently returned from his suspension for the hit to the head of Marian Hossa, which left Torres with some time to reflect, and Hossa with a long road to recovery. Hossa is back at full strength and off to a terrific start this season, but that doesn’t change how everyone feels about Torres, outside of Phoenix.
Some fans of the Coyotes still seem to think that Torres and the Coyotes were cheated with that suspension and that type of punishment wasn’t at all deserved, which is pretty much on the cusp of lunacy.
Regardless, it’s going to be interesting to see how the Hawks respond to having Torres on the other side of the ice on Thursday night. Last time these two squads met, there wasn’t much intensity overall, aside from typical scraps after the whistle. Could having Torres in the lineup change that?
It would obviously be the preference of many Hawks fans that someone like Brandon Bollig takes a run at Torres and bashes his face in, that probably wouldn’t be the best course of action for them. Sure, they’re going to want some type of retribution on Torres, but do it on the scoreboard.
The Blackhawks are still the only team in the entire league without a regulation loss. They didn’t get to where they are by taking stupid penalties and making foolish decisions. I completely expect them to be smart about it, but that may not stop someone like Bryan Bickell or even Brent Seabrook from laying a nice hit on Torres at some point throughout the tilt on Thursday.