Blackhawks vs. Coyotes: Raffi Torres says he's changed

Christian Petersen

Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres says he is a changed man and understands that the best players in the league need to be protected.

The Phoenix Coyotes will host the Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena on Thursday night.

While it will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, it will be the first time that forward Raffi Torres will be in the lineup against the Blackhawks since administering a punishing blow to the head of Marian Hossa during last year's playoffs.

Hossa suffered a concussion and was unable to play in the remainder of the series. Torres was suspended for 25 games (later shortened to 21 games after appeal) and was still serving the suspension when the two teams met on Jan. 20.

On Wednesday, Torres stated that he was a changed man since serving the suspension and explained that he has a new perspective on how to play the game, via the Chicago Sun-Times:

"We have to protect the top players in the league, and if it's going to take me thinking a little bit out there instead of running around with my head cut off, that's what it's going to take. At the end of the day, I need to keep playing. This is what I want to do. And if I want to keep playing in this league, I'm going to have to change the way [I play]."

Whether Torres actually alters his game is something that remains to be seen.

Thursday night's game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., ET.

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