Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn't pleased with the officiating Tuesday. (Scott Strazzante/Tribune photo / April 18, 2012)

Blackhawks livid with officials after Game 3 loss

Wed, 04-18-2012
By: Chris Kuc

Coach Joel Quenneville and his team didn't hold back with their opinions of the officiating in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Coyotes.

"The refereeing (Tuesday night) was a disgrace," Quenneville said after the Coyotes skated to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Hawks to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Quenneville and the Hawks were livid at the lack of a penalty being called on a first-period hit by the Coyotes' Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa that resulted in Hossa being carted off on a stretcher. Torres appeared to leave his skates and hit Hossa--who didn't have the puck--in the chin with his shoulder.

“It was a brutal hit," Quenneville said. "You can have a multiple-choice question, it’s 'All of the Above.' I saw exactly what happened, it was right in front of me, and all four (officials) missed it."

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was visibly upset in the Hawks' dressing room after the game.

"It was frustrating that (Torres) got to stay in the game," Toews said. "because it wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to do something like that again. If nothing happens to him, I don’t see why he won’t try it."

On the subject of a possible suspension for Torres, Toews said in frustration: "Who knows? I don’t know what to expect anymore, I don’t think anyone does, so we’ll see. It will probably be a surprise I guess." 

Added Toews: "We don’t expect (Hossa) back any time soon. That’s a scary thing to go through, We want to make sure he’s 100 percent, that he’s okay. That’s the most important thing right now. We want to win the series, that’s what it comes down to. It’s tough to focus on hockey and not get caught up in the emotion and all the things that are going on after every whistle with an incident like that. But I’ve got to give it to our guys, we stuck with it, we stayed composed, the guys were calm and composed and positive on the bench."

It's not the first run-in the Hawks have had with Torres, who delivered a hit on Brent Seabrook that injured the defenseman last season when Torres was a member of the Canucks.

"Of course we’re angry, that’s the natural reaction for anybody," Toews said. "Everyone loves (Hossa), everyone respects him and loves him as a teammate. It sucks to see that happen and we wanted to win that game for him. But we came up short so we’ve got to focus on getting the next one for him.”

The NHL situation room said no call was made on Torres hit on Hossa because it "went unseen" by the officials on the ice--Stephen Walkom, Ian Walsh, Brad Lazarowich and Jonny Murray.