Tonight's the night. Bloodthirsty Blackhawk fans have been looking forward to the "Raffi Torres revenge game" since that fateful night last spring when Torres injured Marian Hossa. Callers to the Score along with the Twitter / Facebook folks are licking their chops at the impending demise of the Coyotes' winger.
Well, I think those fans could be in for disappointment.
The Blackhawks have never been a team to seek physical revenge, at least under Joel Quenneville. Sure, they'll occasionally respond right after the play (see Duncan Keith Tuesday night), but "down the road payback" has never been their style.
When James Wisniewski charged Brent Seabrook a couple of years ago, there was very little response.
When Torres hit Seabrook in the 2011 playoffs, Chris Campoli gave him a cross check...but that was really it.
Even Torres' hit on Hossa last spring went generally unpunished. Brandon Bollig eventually got to Torres for a headlock and a dance...and that's all.
Former Sun Times Blackhawk beat reporter Adam Jahns quoted a former Hawk from the 2010 team on his Twitter today. "Not calling for brawl. But ex-Hawk once told me Blackhawks haven't been tough to handle since '10. Good opp. 2nite to show it's different."
The Hawks reputation of being physically passive is out there, and why shouldn't it be? Opponents know there won't be any real response from the Hawks, so they feel they can take liberties, just like Torres did with Hossa.
Maybe this time it's different. Maybe, since it was a star player in a playoff game, the Hawks will change their ways. Maybe since they saw a teammate carted off on a stretcher, tonight will be different, but I doubt it.
The Hawks "revenge" has always been lighting up the opposing goalie...not the opposing skaters. Picking up two points has always been their (correct) focus. Could tonight be different? I doubt it, but will happily eat crow if I'm wrong.
Thanks to @chiphotoguy - Nick Ulivieri for the There Might Not Be Blood movie poster.