The trouble with winning a Cup early in a team’s evolution is the assumption that things should always go your way. This sense of entitlement seems to be running rampant in the Windy City these days.
For Jonathan Toews, the young and celebrated leader of the Hawks, all this losing to the Canucks is clearly too much. The frustrated captain has taken every opportunity to disparage the Canucks publicly, refusing to acknowledge that this year’s version just might be better than the year before.
And with the controversial hit by Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook yesterday, the yappy Hawks have even more to simmer over. According to esteemed coach Joel Quenneville, the hit was brutal and deserving of a major penalty, one that the Hawks would have scored 4 times on (really, do they even have 4 power play goals all series?).
And, of course, the now bitchy Toews was lamenting the play and Torres’ reputation for attempting to hurt opposing players - an interesting conclusion since Torres’ equally controversial season ending suspension was the first of his career.
The hit was certainly a blindside one. And depending on the video replay angle, Torres may have led with his shoulder. But he did not leave his feet. He did not hit a player that had vulnerably exposed himself. He did not appear to target the head. Nor did he direct the player dangerously towards the boards. In short, Seabrook was run over like he was playing chicken with a freight train.
Look, we will say this, predicting how the overlords at the NHL head office will rule on disciplinary matters is a shot in the dark. But to argue that the Hawks are being victimized here is outlandish. They faced a Vancouver squad in the first two games of the series who were without Torres on a suspension that seemed heavy to most observers. And yesterday, they were unable to beat the Canucks again despite spending an inordinate amount of time on the power play.
Canuck fans have a deserved hate on for the Hawks after two successive playoff oustings, but this recent classless display by the leadership of the so called Stanley Cup champs gives us all extra incentive to wish for the brooms to come out tomorrow night.