A day after NHL discipline chief Colin Campbell's absurd decision not to suspend Raffi Torres for his head shot on Brent Seabrook, the Blackhawks were forced to play without their elite defenseman in Game 4 on Tuesday.
While Hawks coach Joel Quenneville refused to confirm if Seabrook was suffering from concussion-like symptoms, all that mattered was they were without the guy who has been their best defenseman for most of this season while Torres was allowed to play on as if nothing had happened.
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Quenneville remained more upset that Torres didn't receive a major penalty and game misconduct from Game 3 referees Brad Watson and Greg Kimmerly.
"To me justice would have been served if (Torres) got a major and game (misconduct)," Quenneville said. "I'll let the other people deal with the other stuff. That was probably the exact call that was deserved on the play."
Seabrook kept playing after the Torres hit but left the game briefly after getting hit two more times, including once more by Torres. Seabrook was able to finish the game and told reporters on Monday he did so because he simply wanted to play.
"He was evaluated by our medical staff and he wanted to play," Quenneville said in response to being asked if Seabrook should have come out immediately following the hit to his head by Torres.
NHL misses again:
Even more eyebrows were raised on Tuesday when the NHL's Colin Campbell handed down only a one-game suspension to Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz for a dangerous and blatant elbow to the head of Tampa Bay's Simon Gagne in their playoff game on Monday.
It's becoming obvious with each incident that the NHL does not have a handle on the head-shot epidemic and that the players aren't being deterred by either soft or no punishment.
"It's just being able to read the game," Hawks winger Troy Brouwer said. "A part of it is you know you're going to be in a situation where it might be a vulnerable hit and you have to take it upon yourself to make sure you're not trying to injure anyone.
"You have to finish your checks and finish them hard, 100 percent, and there are going to be injuries in a contact game, but you have to be aware of the other guys on the ice and what position they're in.
"Guys have to have enough respect for one another to make sure that they're not having direct hits (to the head) because we're all competing against each other, but we all are in the same situation. We're all hockey players and we're all in this together."
John Scott replaced Brent Seabrook while Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell and Ryan Johnson returned from injuries. Jake Dowell and Fernando Pisani were healthy scratches.
Patrick Sharp returned to center with Marian Hossa and Ben Smith.