"Look at me. Know whatcha see?..."
"... You see a bad mutha."
- The Boss by James Brown
That pretty much sums up Raffi Torres' 2006 playoffs for me. He's been nasty since Game 2 of the San Jose series, when he viciously knocked Milan Michalek into Neverland. Last night's Game 5 performance was a tour de force for Raffi. He creamed Aaron Ward shortly after the Pisani goal in the 1st period and then proceeded to hit anything that moved, positioning be damned. The Pronger/Torres sandwich that sent a despondent Weight to the trainer's slab early in the 3rd period was almost laughable as Torres had no business getting involved. Later in one shift in the third period, Torres obviously drew the ire of Mark Recchi. Recchi took two runs at him in that shift, Raffi saw each one of the coming and ended up laying the lick on the old man. The replays showed him looking down at Recchi with a crazed Sacamano face before turning to join the rush.
In the post game press conference, MacT addressed Raffi's play this way:
"I think I finally found a way to motivate Raffi. I won't tell you what it is, but I think we found it."No shit. I wonder what the heck that motivation could be. Battery acid in his morning cereal? Maybe MacT has taken his family hostage? Maybe it's this?
Regardless, I tend to give Torres a lot of flack 'round these parts for a variety of reasons. (The short list? His puck support on the LW boards; horrible passing; general uselessness on the PP; an inordinate number of lucky RS goals; bad penalties and constantly taking himself out of position to make a hit.) Right now though, Torres is a very valuable weapon for these Oilers and he's cut down on his mistakes enough so that we can focus on the fact that he is a bad mutha.