Wednesday night in Arizona, hockey’s Grim Reaper made his way into Jobing.com Arena and departed with the souls of the Phoenix Coyotes’ playoff aspirations. He then made his way up to Vancouver Thursday where for the second time this week he looked to harvest the Chicago Blackhawks hopes to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
However, as was the case Tuesday evening in Chicago, he once again left empty handed as the Hawks thumped the Canucks 5-0 to force a game six Sunday.
Roberto Luongo has given up 10 goals on 40 shots in the two losses to Chicago. Last night he departed after Marian Hossa’s goal 1:26 into the second period gave his team a 4-0 edge. Hossa finished with 2 goals, an assists and a +2 rating during 14:02 TOI.
Duncan Keith has a pair of goals and 4 overall points on the night while Corey Crawford stopped all 36 shots he faced to earn his first NHL playoff shutout.
Outscoring the Presidents’ Cup winners 12-2 in the past two games, the Blackhawks continue to dance to the Bee Gees hit, “Stayin’ Alive”. And once the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt early in the second period, even the Reaper was seen bustin’ a few disco moves with The Fat Lady over by the Zamboni.
He’s actually a pretty cool guy once you get a few drinks down him and he relaxes a bit. That, plus I think The Fat Lady has had a positive influence on him since the two began hanging out together this spring.
The NHL’s version of the angel of dark and light will get an evening off tonight as his services will not be needed in either of the games being played. The Buffalo Sabres are in Philly while the Nashville Predators find themselves back in Anaheim to face the Ducks. Both are game fives with the series tied at two.
But he’ll again be racking up the frequent flyer miles beginning Saturday.
At noon that day he’s schedule to be in Pittsburgh as the Pens look to finish off the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’ll then make his way over to the nation’s capital where the New York Rangers are clinging to their playoff lives. Given that they trail 3 games to 1 in their respective series, both the Bolts and the Rangers face having to win three straight.
Had Montreal been successful the other night and knocked off the Boston Bruins, they too would be on the brink of advancing. Instead they lost in overtime and game five Saturday in Boston will be to determine who’ll take a 3-2 lead into game six.
Later Saturday evening, the Reaper will head west where the Los Angeles Kings face postseason death after dropping game four to the San Jose Sharks 6-3 Thursday night. After blowing their 4-0 lead in game three, the Kings have been royally outdone by the Sharks as San Jose has notched 12 of the last 16 goals scored in that series.
He’ll then enjoy his Easter Sunday candy while shuttling between Buffalo, Nashville and Chicago as all three of the games played there will be game six situations.
We already know the Blackhawks will once again be looking to dodge his hockey stick scythe for a third straight time. But tonight’s games will determine whether the Preds, Ducks, Sabres or Flyers will be the ones left fearing the Reaper.