Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres Sends Chicago Blackhawks Player to Hospital; Chi-Town Fans Threaten to Kill Color Commentator

Before the Phoenix Coyotes' Mikkel Boedker scored an overtime goal last night to give the team a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round of the NHL playoffs, the Coyotes gave Chicago something else to complain about.

The Coyotes' Raffi Torres delivered a hit to the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa in the first period of the game last night, putting Hossa in the hospital for a bit after being taken off the ice on a stretcher.

No penalty was called for the hit, and Coyotes color commentator Tyson Nash said shortly after the play that it was "as clean of a hit as you're going to get."

Some Blackhawks fans apparently decided the appropriate response would be to send death threats to Nash, a former -- but not quite notable -- NHL player himself.

Nash told an ESPN radio program this morning that he was getting threats, although he didn't seem too concerned about it.

He mentioned that some of those threats were coming from Twitter, and we found many gems of wisdom directed at Nash, like this one:

One of the people on Twitter who admitted to sending threats to Nash apologized and offered to buy him breakfast.

Even the Chicago sports writers are being grumbling about the hit from Torres, who's been suspended indefinitely prior to a hearing on Friday.

Here's part of a column from ESPN Chicago writer Jon Greenberg, which sounds more like material for a dramatic poetry contest:

Marian Hossa left the United Center in an ambulance.

That was after he was carted off the ice, his neck stabilized, his body supine.

That was after he lay on the ice for long, scary minutes as the United Center piped in "Blue Moon" to chill out the crowd (it didn't work) and cut replays from the scoreboard.

That was after Hossa's head bounced off the ice.

That was after Phoenix Coyotes aggressor Raffi Torres left his feet and rammed his left shoulder into Hossa's right jaw.

That was after Torres, skating from behind, sized up Hossa like he was Brandon Meriweather on skates.

The Blackhawks' team doctor released a statement early this morning saying Hossa's tests at the hospital "yielded encouraging results," and says he anticipates a full recovery.

The next game in the series is tomorrow night in Chicago.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley