Stanley Cup playoffs 2013: Will Raffi Torres be suspended for hit on Jarret Stoll?

Christian Petersen

Raffi Torres administered a punishing hit to Jarret Stoll on Tuesday night during Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal.

For the second-consecutive year, San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres could find himself sitting in the pressbox while his team competes in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

At the 19-minute mark of the second period in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings, Torres administered a hit to Kings forward Jarret Stoll. San Jose was attempting to fend off a Kings attack, which Stoll was trying to sustain. While attempting to pursue a loose puck, Stoll was struck with the punishing blow from Torres.

The Sharks forward was given a two-minute charging penalty on the play, while Stoll was unable to return to the game.

When discussing the play postgame, Torres stated he wasn't concerned about supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety. In fact, he didn't believe the play deserved a penalty, via CSN Bay Area:

"I didn't really think it was even going to be a penalty. They called it charging, I don't think I launched myself. I took a step and a half, and glided into him. Obviously he was leaning over, and I still feel like I got a shoulder to his shoulder, and then it kind of looked because he was leaning over that I came up a little high. I didn't even think it was going to be a penalty, but I hope he's alright."

That opinion was shared by San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter stated he hadn't reviewed the hit but offered the following comment:

"Well, we weren't resting him and he didn't come back."

Typically, it seems as though the league -- in a general sense -- evaluates four primary components when determining if a play warrants a suspension: principle point of contact, history, onus and injury.

It didn't appear as though the principle point of contact was the head. Torres did make contact with the head, but that was primarily because of Stoll's body positioning on the play. This lends itself to questioning whether the league believes the onus is on Torres to be cautious in the amount of force he administers. Torres' history is well-known. In terms of injury, the extent is unknown but Stoll was unable to return to the game.

Torres appeared to be attempting a clean check which unfortunately resulted in Stoll leaving the contest and could potentially force him to miss more time. While it doesn't seem worthy of a suspension, it's never wise to say never with the Department of Player Safety.

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