He’s at it again.
It’s not a true postseason until it includes a controversial hit from San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres. One of the noted goons in the league, Torres was back at it in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Torres actually had a pretty good regular season, as far as keeping his “antics” in check goes. After he returned from his lengthy suspension from last year’s playoffs, after he threw his shoulder into the head of Marian Hossa, Torres returned to show that he had been rehabilitated.
He actually proved to be a pretty effective player when he was in the lineup after his trade to the Sharks. His physicality was a welcome presence in the lineup, as that type of grit was effective for a team like the Sharks. The honeymoon looks to be over at this point, though.
On Tuesday night, Torres put his shoulder into the head of Kings forward Jarret Stoll. The hit ended Stoll’s night and once again led to a firestorm surrounding the controversial forward. While he didn’t leave his feet, the head appeared to be the principle point of contact, as it typically is with a Torres hit. He took a two-minute charging penalty on the play.
Torres has built up this reputation as being one of the scariest players to play against, simply because of what he brings to the ice. Players are legitimately fearful of a blow to the head with him out there. With his history, and that reputation that he’s built up, he could be headed for more trouble.
He’ll have an in-person hearing with the league later on this week. Which means that he could be headed for a suspension of more than five games. While Torres had a pretty lengthy stretch in which he played the game the “right way”, he showed that not much has changed with his style.
While Torres won’t see the type of suspension that he saw after hitting Hossa in the head last postseason, he’s certainly headed for a ban of some sort. At some point, the league is going to have to consider taking further action against him. But it won’t happen this time.