LOS ANGELES -- Raffi Torres is in trouble once again.
The NHL directed the Sharks left wing to fly to New York City for a Thursday hearing to determine if he will be suspended for a hit that has sidelined Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll.
Torres, who was suspended one year ago for 25 games as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes after a blatant head shot that knocked Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa out of the playoffs with a concussion, had the option of waiving his right to be there to defend himself.
Instead he and general manager Doug Wilson made the cross-country trip, a strong signal they intend to do what they can to minimize any supplemental discipline.
The fact the NHL set up the in-person hearing indicates a suspension may be longer than five games -- holding Torres accountable as a repeat offender.
"We were kind of shocked," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "We didn't see anything wrong on the play."
The hit on Stoll came at 19:02 of the second period, and the Kings center did not return after that. Torres was given a minor penalty for charging.
Coach Todd McLellan said after the game that he thought it was a clean hit. Wednesday he said his opinion hadn't changed and that Torres had the team's full support.
He would not speculate on who might replace Torres in the lineup but made it clear injured Marty Havlat was not yet ready to return.
The fact that it was Torres, who has tried all season to change his style of play and overcome his track record as a dangerous player, has amplified the attention given to the play. Several Sharks cited a high hit by Kings forward Dustin Penner on Tommy Wingels that also could have been penalized.
Immediately after the Sharks 2-0 loss in Game 1, Torres said he was surprised there was even a penalty on the play.
"They called it charging, but I don't think that I launched myself. I took a step and a half, then I glided into him," he said. "I got shoulder to his shoulder, and then it kind of looked, because he was leaning over, that it came up a little high. ... I hope he's all right."
Kings coach Darryl Sutter called it a "careless hit" Wednesday but declined to say whether he thought it was worthy of a suspension.
"You don't expect to win every game in the playoffs," Wingels said. "I don't think any team has gone 16-0 to win the Stanley Cup. L.A.'s a good team, and we expected a battle and expect it to go seven games."