If I Go To Church, Then I Can’t Be A Sinner, Right?

Now that both Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson have made their comments about Raffi Torres’ suspension and how they think it is bogus, a common theme has jumped out. They, and others, are quick to make the point that Raffi has done a lot to change his game, citing the few minor penalties he has taken since joining the Sharks.

That’s all well and good, but it would appear these yokels have sucked on a bit too much harbor fog and are having trouble seeing how reputations and punishment works.

I’ll start with McLellan, who said after the game yesterday:

“It really doesn’t matter what Todd McLellan thinks or what everybody else thinks now, because it’s been dealt with, and we have Game 3 now that we’re going to move ahead and prepare for without Raffi. But Raffi has our full support. As a player that’s worked hard to change his game, do I think that was anywhere near any of the other hits that he’s had in his career? Absolutely not.”

The part I bolded is what made my eyes cross. What is the insinuation here, that because Raffi has had a few good months of not severely concussing another human, taken with the fact that his hit on Stoll could have been worse, therefore… what? He shouldn’t have been suspended? I assume that’s his point, we know that’s what the entire Sharks organization thinks. And that’s fine, everyone has an observation bias on these things that slants in favor of their players, but the logic here is kind of disgusting.

Let’s apply this thought process to some other crimes.

“Why do you care that I stole your wallet? I didn’t rob the bank. I should get to keep your wallet.”

“Well, yeah I shot the guy in the face, but it’s not like I chopped him up and ate him like I used to do to people. Have a heart.”

“Listen judge, I know I raped a bunch of girls last year, but I’ve only fondled a tit or two since then, and this last rape, I didn’t even smack her around much! I don’t see what the big deal is.”

Makes sense, I can see where McLellan’s coming from.

Onto Doug Wilson, who released a statement today.

He argues that Stoll put himself in the vulnerable position, which has a modicum of validity to it, but only just. In reality, the angle that Torres took to hit Stoll, coupled with the fact that Stoll was bent down at the time Torres made the decision to hit Stoll (which is different than a player adjusting his position immediately before being hit once the decision to make the hit has been made), speaks to how dangerous of a hit this was. As Wilson states to open, “The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL in its efforts to remove illegal and dangerous hits from the game.” Sure, buddy, but not when it’s your guy making the hit.

But this isn’t what bothered me. Again, it’s the same mantra that came from McLellan, that Torres hasn’t fucked up in a while, so it’s unfair to judge him based on his history. Wilson says:

“Comparing the facts of this incident against the actual wording of Rule 48.1, it appears that the NHL has not only made an inappropriate application of this rule but is trying to make an example out of a player who is being judged on past events, one who has changed his game dramatically this season and taken only six minor penalties in 39 games.

We are proud of the work Raffi has put in to successfully adjust his game. Although it’s unfortunate that Jarret was injured on the play, we feel this decision is grossly unfair to the Raffi, his teammates and our fans. However, Raffi does not want to be a distraction to his teammates and has decided not to appeal this suspension and we respect that decision.”

A reputation isn’t made in 39 games of not taking someone’s head off. If a drug addict quits for a month or two and then smokes crack again, sorry, but he’s still a drug addict and his history of drug abuse is probably a good reason why he just smoked crack in your bathroom after excusing himself from playing pictionary with the fam.

Argue the logistics of the hit, fine. But spare me this sob story for Torres that he’s being mistreated because he’s done this exact same thing time and time again but not recently. The reaction should be, “damn, and Torres was doing so well!” and not “he was doing so well, so cut the guy some slack.”

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. Todd Mclellan is the consummate asshole. The guy carries himself like a prick. I bet the majority of his players hate him. Perhaps this is why he may never coach a championship team. And that douche bag of a GM is spouting political bullshit.

    But Torres is NOT a victim and I doubt these guys believe their own bullshit. They probably think “Raffi” is still a dirty player and he occasionally fucks up”. They know damn well that the League is not going to ignore a hit like that in the playoffs. It was very stupid of Torres and they know it…

  2. What so you expect who has the same last name and could possibly be related to the worst US General is history?

  3. Damn I love reading you guys! First time I heard Todd’s words I thought the same thing you said. That’s some fuckin denial goin on there. AS I drove home from LA this morning to Norcal I got to listen to a whole lot of NHL Network radio and the topic came up many times. Many different perspectives. Seemed there were two different camps for the most part and I heard some very poignant views. Neither of them wrong, but one was missing the point. There were the old school hockey guys who really had a problem with a hit that was legal just 10 years ago. I’m totally understanding of that cuz I miss the days of old school hockey where guys took each others heads off. But these guys were missing the point. The new NHL is faster, players are more fit and fine tuned, and the equipment is better. Back in the old days when guys didn’t have shoulder pads and such, it hurt to play a physical game. It took a toll on you as well as the guy you were dishing it out to. On top of that the NHL has made it hard for old school enforcement of such guys like Torres. Instead they want to be the ones to dole out the punishment rather than letting the goons settle it on the ice. The new NHLers understand that the game is changed and what the NHL is trying to do whether they like it or not. Given that understanding, they fully acknowledged that this was gonna get a suspension and for good reason based on the NHL’s stance. The NHL is not just trying to eliminate head shots at this point, but kicking it up to discouraging players from making unnecessary hits. If you’re of the camp that feels this hit was not that bad compared to other hits he or other players have done in the past, yet you understand what the league is trying to do….then you gotta admit that the hit was at the least unnecessary, reckless and careless given the NHL’s stance. IMHO the league is basically saying If you’re gonna play that kinda style and make those kind of checks Raffi, then you better, at the least, damn well be able to line the guy up right and hit him on the shoulder cleanly or you’re gonna have to change your game before you’re outta here…..and then we may still suspend you cuz the hit might not have been necessary given your track record.

    And that’s just what I love about Sutter right now. The guy is an old school guy who seems to understand the new NHL and has his guys playin it to a fuckin T. It’s all business out there and he’s got them buying in to what he’s selling. There really seems to be a calm about him and it’s reflected in his players even moreso this year in my opinion. I don’t see him talkin to the guys as much. At this point they know what to do. While all of us worry about losing Greene, Mitchell, Clifford, Stoll, the boys just keep chugging along poised and calm…..knowing what to do. Pure sandpaper. That’s why we can plug in guys like King, Nolan, Voynov, Muzzin and Toffoli. Yeah they may look a little dazed out there in the beginning but Sutter and the boys in the room convey a calm, business-like confidence and the kids settle in. It’s really fucking great to watch. As much as I miss the old school shit, I’m really loving watching the Kings put out a first class product from top to bottom. Yeah it’s been more anxious this year with all the key injuries. It’s not coming as easy as last year and it probably won’t the rest of the way, but it’s kept me on the edge of my seat all playoffs and that’s just where I like to be cuz it’s playoff fuckin hockey baby.

    Hey you guys wanna hop a plane and fly up for Game 3? I got 4 tix up top at HP and I’m only taking my 10 year old who is a fuckin Sharks fan. I almost deserve to be Torres’d for letting that happen or my son deserves to be Surly n Scribe’d for a game……..you can yell at him that he sucks all you want……lol…..Kings first kids second….sorry folks…priorities.

    • Awesome comment. Thanks for the ticket offer but I already bought mine :)

      Hoppin in the car in the mornin’ and driving up.

      If I see a kid in a Sharks jersey walking with a dude in a Kings jersey, I’ll be sure to smack the boy around a little.

      • Sweeeeeeet! Sorry to say that I have become a fat, forty-something parent and no longer fit into any of the Kings jerseys I own and I am not going to disgrace the Crown by doing my best Chris Farley impersonation……Fat man in a little jersey…….fat man in a little jerseyyyyyyyy…………I’ll be donning my Stanley Cup Champs hat and my usual purple Kings aka Grimace jacket(yeah that guy). If you see a smaller carbon copy of me donning a Skarks shirt and hoodie that’s us. Feel free to throw my son in the trunk for the drive back. Lord knows he needs an intervention.

        I’ll be lookin for the guy GOING FUCKIN NUTS and yelling to see some BOOBs. And at the end of the night we will be high fiving with a SUTT YEAH! and telling Shark fans to GO SUTT THEMSELVES!

    • That’s a great post and I totally agree. Even some of the TSN coverage went out of their way to show 3 occasions where Torres didn’t make the brutally illegal hit before reviewing the hit on Stoll. Wtf?!

      Many former players are nostalgic and just don’t get what the NHL is doing. The NHL has done a remarkable job in cleaning up the game and removing goonery. While I miss the days of old too, you really can’t argue that the game today isn’t just as exciting and has more mainstream appeal.
      But forget all that. What the fuck is wrong with your kid?!

  4. RT could have made a clean check on the play. Actually, Torres avoided the obvious point of contact and made a head shot on JS. He should have been kicked out of the playoffs.

    Everyone says that things happen quickly on the ice. Does this mean that if you stick someone in the face that they can use as an excuse the fact hockey is a quick game to justify every cheap shot?

    The NHL needs to get more serious about boarding, head shots, and hitting from behind. The players need to have more respect for their opponents and the game of hockey.

  5. Onto brighter news. After a 16 hr shift at the hospital, I came home to my brand new Stanley Cup Champion Ring that Jared, Surly & Scribe were so awesome to have a contest for. Words can’t express how appreciative I am. Pictures to follow. You guys ROCK!

  6. Doug Wilson just got fined a hundred grand for opening up his clap-trap.

  7. A drug addict is always a drug addict, the difference is between active and recovering; much like being a dirty hockey player with no real talent other than injuring others. Once a no talent piece of shit who tries to hurt others, always a no talent piece of shit who tries to hurt others.

  8. No one misses “old time” hockey more than I do. A good bench clearing brawl was always appreciated. But that style of play has nothing to do with an
    asshole like Torres, or that other criminal fuck Todd Bertuzzi, who should be in prison, not on the Red Wing’s bench. I don’t ever recall in the ancient days anyone trying to knock someone unconscious with a meaningless check, (torres) or stalking another player from behind and then hitting the guy on his head as hard as he could. That was not what old time hockey was about. That was about players squaring off and having fights. that was a lot better than this bullshit that every time a goalie stops the puck, 10 guys mull about pushing and yapping like world war three was about to break out. I would rather see a fight that was generated by some honest bad feelings than these bullshit scrums around the goalie.
    I had an experience a few months ago that made me appreciate even more what these athletes deal with. I went to a local bar and started talking to the guy next to me. He was clearly a big King’s fan and he asked me who was my favorite King’s left wing of all time. I named a few, Luke being the obvious choice. The guy kept saying, no not him, I’m talking about before then. I went all the way back to Tommy Williams, who played in the early to mid 70’s. the guy finally got upset that I hadn’t mentioned his favorite, and said, ‘don’t you remember Gene Carr?” (Who played the same years as Tommy Williams.) I said, ‘Gene Carr….yeah, I loved him, he was great.” The guy pointed to his friend next to him and said, “Well this is Gene Carr!” I was very excited to sit and talk with one of my heroes from my earliest days as a King’s fan. He was very nice and and we talked for over an hour. As it became time to go, we said our goodbyes, and as I was paying my bill I saw this old warrior almost completely bent in half shuffle out into the night with his friend. He had told me he’d had many surgeries over the years, but to see the toll playing the game he loved had taken on him made me incredibly sad. These guys, like Gene Carr, who was a scorer, not a goon, still pay a heavy price for entertaining us playing the best sport ever invented. I’d take a whole team of Gene Carr’s then root for a team that has Raffi Torres on it. If he has cleaned up his game like his defenders say, than Stoll’s injury would never have happened.
    Side note to my son who probably thinks I made this up since he’s never seen me in a bar….I had a coke and some fried clams.


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