Should the Blackhawks have retaliated for Toews?
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter April 2, 2014 7:19PM
Should the Blackhawks have retaliated?
- Jonathan Toews out for the rest of the regular season
- WATCH: Jonathan Toews leaves game after big hit
- Jonathan Toews leaves game after taking big hit
Updated: April 5, 2014 2:08PM
Brandon Bollig wanted to pick a fight with the Penguins’ Brooks Orpik on Sunday night after Orpik laid out captain Jonathan Toews with a devastating hit along the boards.
But reason won out over emotion.
“It was a 2-1 game, and we desperately needed those two points. It was a game that we really wanted to have, so … going out there and taking a five-minute penalty is definitely not what we needed,” said Bollig, who called Orpik’s check a “clean hit.”
“It would have been nice for something to happen, but I don’t think there was a right time for it in that game.”
The Hawks have been praised and torn to pieces for their restraint against the Penguins after the hit that knocked Toews out for the rest of the regular season. Former players — including team analysts Eddie Olczyk and Troy Murray — have roundly criticized the Hawks for not responding in kind or at least trying to fight Orpik. Andrew Shaw took a run at Orpik later in the period, but the Hawks’ response came in the form of playing better, with more energy and physical play.
“Obviously, the game’s changed,” Bollig said. “I’ve talked to our coaches about how they feel it should have been addressed, and I don’t think they had any problems.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville called it a “tricky” situation.
“I didn’t like the hit,” he said. “At that time, what could you have done differently? There’s probably no great option right at that time in a 2-1 hockey game late in the second period.”
Quenneville said there was “a fine line” between playing smart and getting satisfaction.
“There’s a price to pay, whether there’s suspensions involved, or all of a sudden you’re killing five minutes when you’re looking to win the game,” he said. “You’ve got some other issues that can happen [for] getting even.”
Bryan Bickell, who was scratched Sunday with an injury, said he didn’t know how he would have reacted had he been on the ice when the hit occurred. But, like Bollig, he looks forward to answering Orpik’s hit — when the time is right.
“It was a hockey play,” Bickell said. “[Orpik’s] one of those guys that always finishes his checks. I know that if we do meet again this season, it’ll be in the Final. So that’d be a good thing, and hopefully we can get them back in that way.”