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Joe Thornton to Jarret Stoll: ‘Just keep your head up’

May 15, 2013, 7:33 PM EDT

torreshug Getty Images

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter called Raffi Torres‘ hit on Jarret Stoll “careless.” San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton seems to think that Stoll was the one being careless.

Thornton, 33, told that he’s surprised the NHL wants to discuss the check with Torres.

“We were kind of shocked today to hear he has to fly to New York for the hearing,” Thornton said. “We didn’t see anything wrong on the play.”

The Sharks captain argues that the league is putting hitters in a tough spot.

“It almost seems like the player getting hit has no responsibility at all right now,” Thornton said. “In that case, I think Jarret probably wasn’t expecting to get hit, and it just looked like a clean hit. It seems right now that the responsibility is on the hitter, and not the receiver right now.”

Apparently he’s not very happy with that standard, then.

“No,” Thornton said. “The way I was brought up was to keep your head up. Just keep your head up. When I was six years old, I was taught that.”

He wasn’t the only Sharks player to support Torres. Logan Couture called it a clean, “shoulder-to-shoulder” hit. Joe Pavelski described it as a “hard call in our book” and head coach Todd McLellan didn’t even think Torres deserved to be whistled for a penalty on the play.

Either way, Torres’ availability seems unlikely (at best) for Thursday’s Game 2, so the Sharks need to move on.

  1. pirovash88 - May 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Torres’ hit was legit? There’s absolutely nothing legit about that guy. He’s a repeated offender, been suspended 7 different times for this type of play. League needs to make an example of him.

    • themickoutwest - May 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      What does his history have to do with anything in this specific situation? If it was a legit hit, it was a legit hit. If a player delivers a clean hit there should be no penalty (and certainly no suspension) whether or not the player has a history of being dirt or not.

      • soj83 - May 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        To me it is kind of like the Cooke/Karlson incident earlier this season. If it was Burns or Marleau or Couture hitting Stoll like that it would probably already be forgotten, but when a player has a history then any time it is a close to questionable hit it is dissected under a microscope, it’s just human nature.

      • gradyspop - May 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        Here is your history. The part that everyone seems to have forgotten. This hit was at least as bad as Stoll’s hit 2 years ago. And, Stoll is not a repeat offender. Look up every article you can find on both hits. The consistent theme around both hits is the whining from the north. Stoll was dirty the first time and Torres dances with daisies in his hair this time around. The good news is that the Sharks are going to get buried in the series this time around.

    • sjsblitz - May 15, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      So past actions dictate punishment? Thats like saying you stole a piece of candy as a kid so you should be arrested anytime theres candy stolen near you

      • profsudz - May 15, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        No it’s not

      • profsudz - May 15, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        For the 2 people that have so far thumbs downed my comment, and the rest of you who may do so in the future, there proper analogy would be this:

        That’s like saying that you stole a piece of candy as a kid, and the first time you did it you got yelled at, the second time you did it you had to pay back the price of the candy, the third time you did it you did it you had to go to a class about shoplifting, the fourth time you did it you went to juvenile hall, and the fifth time you did it you went to jail.

        Then some time after all that, you unconsciously put a piece of candy in your pocket while walking around the store, fully intending to purchase it (which isn’t theft due to the lack of intent), but the camera spots you and the cops come by and you wind up going to jail for a few days because the judge notices your lengthy record of candy theft

  2. btlpper68 - May 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Stoll knows a hit is coming it dosent matter who’s hitting him and yet he ducks this is just all about reputation

  3. mstrcool - May 15, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I agree with Joe on this one, keep your damn head up and nothing bad happens on this play.

  4. rocoop - May 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    So I guess “Big Joe” will be “Shocked” when the suspension comes down

  5. bleedingteal4life - May 15, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    So now I guess the sharks should try a new strategy: skate around with the puck with your head down until you get “illegally” checked. All the way to the cup.

  6. mpg44 - May 15, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    He had his head up , saw the hit coming . Looks as if he tried to avoid being hit and this changed the entire point of contact . Give Torres credit , he did not leave the ice . Actually looks as if he made a poi t of keeping both skates on the ice prior to committing to the hit.

    • cardsandbluesforever - May 15, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      if you watch the replay it does appear that contact was initially made shoulder to shoulder, but Torres’s shoulder slipped over Stoll’s shouler and made glancing contact with Stoll’s head.

      Im not trying to blame Stoll, but Thornton is right, should’ve kept his head up instead of trying to duck under the hit.

  7. schusters3 - May 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Sjsblitz….that’s your attempt at analogy? Really? It’s actually like if the kid who stole candy steals more a few months later and deciding if the penalty should be harsher. Sharks need to worry more about how to solve Quick than about Torres’ presence in game 2 as the Kings aren’t a team that is adversely affected by hard hits.

  8. kingsfan93 - May 15, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Hey Joe Thornton, I know you Are only sticking up for Raffi Torres because he is your teammate. But the truth is when you have your head up or down wouldn’t matter because you have “the head hunter” Torres on ice. He is a complete disgrace and embarrassment to the NHL. I am surprised he is not banned from the sport.

    Also, Stoll would have his head up, but he was playing the puck. So why don’t you Mr. Thornton watch the play again?

  9. aldog83 - May 15, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I think Joe Thorton …….

    Better keep “HIS” head up for the rest of this series!

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      It would appear he actually does have his head up…..his ass.

  10. thewaytonever - May 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    its similar to what happened to Brad Stuart when Derrick Roy elbowed him in the head and Stuart fell to the ice. The difference is Stuart returned to the games. Still didn’t. its bogus to suspend a guy based on injury. its not raffi’s fault that stoll isn’t made of the same stuff Stuart is. they need to fine and suspension guys based on initial point of contact.

  11. surfoside4life - May 15, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Hahahaha listen to sharks fans trying to make excuses. Pathetic. You’re all scumbags like Torres. Nor cal losers

  12. salmon90 - May 15, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Torres is player getting caught in the transition the league is going through regarding high hits. Scott Stevens made the HOF based on hits far worse than any of Torres’ hits. It’s too easy and lazy to make him out to be the scumbag people want to – or claim that he deliberately ‘targets’ the head. It’s just that when you hit as he does the head comes into play some (not all) of the time. This is a perfect example – if Stoll has his head up it’s not an issue. I’m not saying Stoll is at fault!

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Even though you just did.

  13. kingsforever - May 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    This logic doesn’t any make sense. 1) no hockey wants to get hurt. 2) the puck was bobbling, oh I forgot how mighty Jumbo Joe never ever ever looks down at the ice to deal with a bobbling puck. 3) Torres charged, meaning he was a good deal away from Stoll and closed the gap illegally.

  14. doubles22 - May 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Not to split hairs, but to me this headline should read, “Joe Thornton ‘ON’ Jarret Stoll”. To me, ‘to’ suggests Thornton saying it directly to Stoll. ‘On’ to me would indicate “in reference to,” which is not nearly as meaty or juicy a headline as ‘to’, but is a bit more clear. The fact that this site does not typically sensationalize its headlines is something that draws me to it.

    Just my opinion.

  15. manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I’m beginning to understand the frustration investigators experience when multiple eye-witnesses have completely different recollections of a single incident. In this case the video is pretty plain, but there will always be those with a desire to make it out to be something it is not. Thornton is certainly someone without any bias in this, right?

    And the “keep your head up” argument is not persuasive in any meaningful way. The onus is on the player making the hit to insure it is legal. You’d think McLellan would have made it clear to certain players (like Torres) that it is far more effective to deliver a legal hit than to take yourself off the ice as well as subject your team to the scrutiny of the league office. Yet all I’m hearing from the Sharks is how Torres hitting Stoll in the head is somehow Stoll’s fault.

    Stoll sees Torres coming. Stoll is crouched over trying to control a bouncing puck. Torres is also bent over while coming in. When Stoll sees Torres and begins to stand up in anticipation of the hit Torres straightens also, apparently determined to deliver the hit as high as possible.

    Whether or not Torres targeted Stoll’s head isn’t the issue. Torres is now liable to further punishment from the league because he made little attempt to insure his hit didn’t contact Stoll’s head. Shanahan doesn’t have to speculate on Torres’ intentions because Torres’ history does that quite well.

    The petulant whining from the Sharks’ organization does not reflect well on them. Blaming the victim for the perpetrator’s poor judgment simply keeps the focal point on the incident. Again, you’d think McLellan would realize that there are much more important facets of the Sharks’ game to address. Like why you find it such a burden on your team of the possibility of losing a 4th-line player when none of your top-line guys can put one past Quick.

    • dt58 - May 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      And you as a Kings fan, not biased?

  16. sjsharks66 - May 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Im pretty sure Torres was playing on the 2nd line and has been very effective for the Sharks.

    But sure, he is just a 4th line guy.
    You should know what you are talking about before you make stupid statements like that.

  17. dt58 - May 16, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    So, because Torres is a “repeat offender”, we should suspend him every time he goes near anyone? Keep that in mind next time D Brown (repeat offender) does his next Ulf Samualson impression. Don’t like Torres but that was a 2 minute minor at worst. That was a hard playoff hockey hit and Stoll put himself in a bad position. Suck it up buttercup

  18. minioninnc - May 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Jarret Stoll to Joe Thornton: Keep your dog in a fence, and btw FU!

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