Torres laid out Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook with what appeared to be another blindside hit to the head. A similar collision with Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle on April 5 resulted in a four-game suspension, which put him out for Games 1-2 of the first-round series against the ‘Hawks.
"Brutal. Major (penalty), absolutely,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville said of the collision. “They missed it. We could have scored four goals on that play.”
Torres was tagged with an interference minor and Patrick Sharp scored on the ensuing power play, not a major where the 'Hakws could have remained on the man-advantage no matter how many goals they scored.
Seabrook lay face down on the ice for a few seconds, but he stayed in the game until another clean check by Torres later in the period. Seabrook missed about the final seven minutes of the second, although he returned in the third.
"He's a big Western Canadian kid," Quennville added. "Somebody else may have been on a stretcher."
Torres didn’t talk to reporters, although The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek details Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault’s defense of his forward:
Vigneault doesn’t think Torres needs to change much, noting that: “A physical dimension is part of his game. Obviously, there are some adjustments and some education that all players have to go through, but I look at that hit and I compare that hit to (Ryan) Getzlaf on (Dan Hamhuis). I compare that hit to (Alexei) Ponikarovsky on Hamhuis - same type of hit - and Getzlaf didn’t even get a penalty on his.
“I mean, hockey’s a collision sport. There’s a lot of intensity. You’re always walking that fine line.”
Vigneault said he didn’t think Torres hit even warranted a penalty, “but at the end of the day, that’s me.
“Obviously, you don’t ever want to see a player get hurt and I understand where they’re going with this. But hockey is still a physical game, a collision game. Each and every one of us wants it to stay a physical game, without players getting hurt. That being said though, there’s a physicality in the game and there’s always going to be injuries out there.”
-- A.J. Perez