Last night Raffi Torres threw a dicey hit on an opposing player (as balloons, confetti and streamers fall from the ceiling rewarding me for typing that for the 100th time), and we’re going to take a look at it. So far, the NHL hasn’t followed up on it, so it seems like there won’t be any supplemental discipline.

(Update: Yeah there will be.

Part of me wonders if they won’t just tell him to f*** off and not come back, but that probably wouldn’t be very professional.)

The facts:

Raffi Torres comes from below the goal line and up to take care of his role defensively. As he skates up in the Kings’ zone, he sees that Jarret Stoll is going to get possession of the hockey puck. Being a physical player, he decides to throw a hit. Stoll has bent down to play the puck with his glove. Torres hits him with his shoulder, impacting Stoll on the side of his head and shoulder simultaneously.

My opinion:

I think it’s a bad hit, I really do. Jarret Stoll didn’t return for the third period due to “upper body issues.” AKA his brain.

I guess I’m just sick of having this “did he mean to or not” conversation about Raffi Torres because he’s absolutely lost the benefit of the doubt in these cases. His history of cherry-picking the head on these plays is too long.

Objectively, maybe he hits Stoll’s shoulder at the same he hits his head. Maybe. But I think Stoll is a little vulnerable, and Torres takes advantage of that to “clip” him, as he often has in the past. I’d like to see him get suspended for at least a few games, but knowing his history, I suspect the League wants to deem this a clean hit, because if they don’t, they have to put him in the press box for a long, looong time.

Your opinion:

In the comments, we’d love to hear if you think this was a malicious play, a hockey play, or something totally different. The caveat: as always with “Court of Public Opinion” posts, you have to honestly list your favourite team (I have no dog in the fight as an Isles guy). That doesn’t mean if you’re a Kings fan and you think it was vicious and terrible that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think it helps with context.