Torts on Chris Neil and Neil's Defense
Coach John Tortorella likened Chris Neil’s hit that concussed Brian Boyle at 5:20 of the third period to the blow from the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres on the Hawks’ Marian Hossa that drew a 25-game suspension from the NHL.
"Well, they have the blueprint," Tortorella said after the game. "It's the exact same hit as Torres' -- a different part of the ice -- but he launches himself, head shot, (the) puck's at the goal line, and he's hit. So, the blueprint's there. I'm sure he's a repeat offender, too. Not much research to be done there…It's just a dangerous, dangerous cheap hit.”
Said Neil, who may not have the track record that Torts thinks: “He cuts to the middle with his head down. I'm putting back pressure and trying to bust back and get in good position. I'm a physical player out there. I think it's a clean hit. He was slow getting up, but I think I probably just knocked the wind out of him. He's a big man so I think it takes a lot out of me delivering those hits."