Raffi Torres sold it better than (enter the name of a has-been actor here) pushes reverse mortgages on your grandparents.
The Vancouver Canucks forward -- who plays on and often over the line -- acted as if the elbow of Sharks forward Dany Heatley was encased in concrete as the two battled along the boards in the third period of Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday night. Torres flailed to make sure the referee didn’t miss it, which he didn’t as an elbowing minor was called.
Henrik Sedin scored on the ensuing power play as the Canucks came away with a 3-2 victory at Rogers Arena. Torres wasn’t on the ice for Sedin’s second goal of the playoffs, but give him an assist anyway.
Here’s a link to the collision, which can be found 2:56 in.
You wouldn’t think Torres would get the benefit of many of those sorts of calls. He was suspended the final two games of the regular season and the first two contests of the playoffs for a hit to the head of Edmonton Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle. Torres' collision with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in the first round was also looked at by the league, but NHL officials decided not to suspend him.
Torres wasn’t called for a dive on Sunday, but teammate Maxim Lapierre -- who is no stranger to flopping -- took the minor. He went off for two minutes as he embellished a hold by Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, who also went to the box.
In total, the Canucks got four power-play opportunities to the Sharks’ one. Maybe it was a good indication of how the night would go for the Sharks in the call department as captain Joe Thornton was tossed out of the circle on the opening faceoff.
The Detroit Red Wings had complained that Thornton was jumping the faceoffs in their second-round series. Apparently, the Canucks were the beneficiary of those gripes.
-- A. J. Perez