A Tough Road Ahead
What's the old expression? We attended a boxing match and a hockey game broke out. After three games, that's what has become of the Chicago Blackhawks' first round playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes. With three games in the books, the Blackhawks find themselves down two games to one. Not only that, they are fortunate they didn't lose Marian Hossa for the remainder of their Stanley Cup run.
Normally, NHL players ditch their hockey code and play clean during the playoffs. Even they realize that pointless fighting results in penalties and potential injuries. Last night during the first period, Raffi Torres, a forward from Phoenix, left his skates and a threw a shoulder directly into Hossa's head sending him to the ice. Ugly scene. Torres has been suspended indefinitely until his hearing on Friday. A longer penalty may be enforced following that hearing.
The Blackhawks will be without Hossa for Game 4 on Thursday night in Chicago. Chicago will be playing without one of their elite players. The remainder of the series may be difficult for the Blackhawks to regain the series lead.
Game 1: Chicago at Phoenix (4/12) Loss 3-2
Game 2: Chicago at Phoenix (4/14) Win 4-3
Game 3: Phoenix at Chicago (4/17) Loss 3-2
Game 4: Phoenix at Chicago (4/19 - 7 p.m. CDT)
Game 5: Chicago at Phoenix (4/21 - 9 p.m. CDT) if needed
Game 6: Phoenix at Chicago (4/23 - TBD) if needed
Game 7: Chicago at Phoenix (4/25 - TBD) if needed
Photo courtesy: Sports Illustrated