Raffi Torres will make his 2013-14 NHL season debut for the San Jose Sharks when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. He hasn’t played for San Jose all season long after injuring himself last September during an exhibition contest. The rehab from that knee injury has taken five months, but it’s been closer to nine since Torres has seen action in a full-speed NHL contest.
Regardless of that, he knows exactly what San Jose is looking for out of him. Torres spoke to David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News and had this to say about the role he’s looking to play:
It’s playing hard, fast hockey — the way I was taught. I just need to be a little smarter out there, learn from my mistakes and hopefully finish off the rest of my career without any suspensions.
That could prove tricky for a player that has consistently crossed the line between hard hit and illegal hit. Since 2011, he’s been suspended four times, including a 25-game ban for elbowing Marian Hossa in the head during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Torres also spoke to Pollak about how he intends to try to keep his game clean moving forward:
I need to be me, but instead of going for that big east-west hit, just rub the guy out. Maybe get the stick on puck a little more instead of trying to get the big hit and not caring where the puck goes.
Those “maybes” probably don’t help ease the mind of the opposition, which is precisely why San Jose traded for him in the first place.
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