April 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and Phoenix Coyotes left wing Raffi Torres (37) battle for position during the first period in game two of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Time For Raffi Talk

I’ve waited a few days to write about the hit. First glance, it was a hockey play. Marian (girls name) Hossa turned and skated across the blue line with his head down. That is the problem right there. His head was down. Ask Eric Lindros how skating with your head down turned out for him. Kids are taught at the Mite level to keep your head up. Every skating drill is taught with your head up. Squirts repeat the drill if they skate with their head down. Especially if you don’t have the puck. If Marian had his head turned after admiring his pass, that is one thing. But his head was down.

Second problem is his skating across the ice. Again, you teach at the Mite level to skate up ice and to never turn like he did. Up ice, diagonal if you have to. Never turn your body unless you look to make sure you will not get laid out. Head on a swivel. Hossa did not.

Third is the issue of physics. Force = mass x acceleration. Raffi has a smaller mass but had much greater acceleration. Hossa is bigger (more mass) but had a lot less acceleration. The result is the force of the hit causes the direction of the bodies to move in two directions. Since Raffi was going faster, the vector of the hit is back toward Hossa. If Hossa was skating faster than Raffi, it would be Torres’ body that would have been laid out on the ice. The second vector from the hit is up. The energy gets transferred in a vertical plane. Since the ice is hard, energy is returned from the downward force up. That is why the bodies left the ice at the moment of impact.

If this hit happened in game 21 of the season, we would not be having this conversation. Because it was in the playoffs, the impact is amplified. Because of the hit on Mike Smith in the previous game and the suspension of Shaw, there is expectation that a much longer suspension is warranted. Mike Smith got up and finished the game. Hossa was taped to a board and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

You look at the Arron Ashem crosscheck to the back of Braydon Schenn. You cannot tell me that is a hockey play. Shea Weber slamming the head of Henrik Zetterberg off the glass at the conclusion of game 1. I can go on with the elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson. There are more examples from just the playoffs without going to Duncan Keith giving an elbow to Sedin in the regular season.

Brendan Shanahan has delayed the decision on punishment to Raffi until Saturday. This gives him time to consider what was said at the meeting attended by Raffi and GMDM, allow them to hear the decision first and inform the Coyotes media personnel as to what is happening and what the path will be in handling media requests.

No matter the outcome, no one will be happy.

 

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