With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?
Raffi Torres has missed almost the entire season with a knee injury, but it looks like the San Jose Sharks will get him back when it matters the most.
The gritty and controversial forward participated in Friday’s optional practice and might return as early as Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
“I think [Anaheim] would be a good first game if we were going to play him,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “Raffi’s proven earlier that he can come back and play, and play well. … We want him in our lineup and as soon as he’s capable of playing without re-injuring and maintaining that, he’s going in.”
The possibility of him suffering a setback is likely a major concern. The 32-year-old originally returned from a torn ACL on Feb. 27. He got off to a hot start with three goals in his first two games, but he only lasted five contests before he was back on the sidelines.
“The ultimate goal is to have him 100 percent ready to go for playoffs,” McLellan said.
Rookie forward Tomas Hertl also was on the ice Friday as he prepares for a possible return during the playoffs. Getting both of them back would significantly bolster the Sharks depth as they get ready for a probable first round series against the Los Angeles Kings.
Make no mistake about it: Raffi Torres hopes that his time with the San Jose Sharks won’t end up being short.
The 31-year-old was clear about that point to CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz, who believes the team should re-sign him.
“It’s not going to be hard to make a decision to stay here. They know I want to,” Torres said. “It’s a great group of guys in here, starting with Joe [Thornton] and right down to [Logan Couture], and the goaltending. It’s just a good group of guys, and it would be a good place to win here.”
Joe Thornton is definitely on board with Torres playing for San Jose some more.
“We hope he comes back. He’s a great player,” Thornton said. “He’s a great addition that Doug made … Just a real good guy. A good guy, a good team guy. Just a fun guy to be around, as well.”
As long as you keep your head up.
The Los Angeles Kings might not be happy with Raffi Torres’ hit on Jarret Stoll, but if you ask captain Dustin Brown, they’re not going to fight fire with fire.
Brown told the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott that they’ll seek revenge in a bigger picture way.
“The best retribution is winning games right now,” Brown said.
Considering the fact that the league might suspend Torres for Game 2 (and maybe more), the Kings might not have a chance to target the specific “culprit” for the crime anyway.
Taking unnecessary, undisciplined penalties is especially foolish during the playoffs. It appears that the defending champions are keeping that in mind (at least publicly).
Joe Thornton thinks Stoll should have “kept his head up”
Darryl Sutter calls the hit “careless”
League schedules meeting with Torres
Raffi Torres might score the occasional overtime game-winning goal, but that’s not why the San Jose Sharks traded for him. Instead, they’re hoping that he’ll make them a “tougher team to play against,” which usually means clobbering opponents when he’s on the ice.
Torres, 31, showed that he isn’t shy about doing just that early in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, as he delivered a hard hit on Robyn Regehr in the opening frame: