Photo taken from Coyotes website. no comments
Photo taken from Coyotes website. no comments
Perhaps the biggest pre-season news was the acquisition of Mike Smith. Perhaps it was the Kyle Turris holdout. In the first scenario, we had to fill a void. In the later, we had to fill a much, much, much, much smaller void. Some will argue that Smith hasn't really filled that void. There are a few Smith-haters out there but you cannot deny that he has talent. I'm not going to say he's perfect but neither was Bryz. Remember all those soft goals? Remember the playoffs? Remember the Winter Classic & 24/7? Oh wait... that was Philly not here. But my point is, no goalie is perfect but Smith isn't the worse. Kyle Turris finally signed, did jack shit and then went to Ottawa where he has added to his career goal totals. He now has... 20. Wow. I'm gonna miss that offense.
There has been ups and downs since the start of the season. We aren't doing terrible but we aren't doing well either. The top story of this half of the season has been injuries. Currently Hanzal and Gordon are still out but we miss their face off skills. :( The streak when Smith was out was tough. LaBarbara tried to step up but he just proved he is a competant backup who can't play several games in a row. McElhinney played well in his one game, getting the Coyotes a win. I don't even think I can recall all the injuries to all the different players...
We definitely could use some more offense. But streaky Vrby has upped his output. He is now at 19 goals and we are only part way through the season. I would love to see more scoring from Doan, Pyatt and Boedker. They are all so close. They do a lot out there but just can't seem to get it going. Whitney is also having a pretty good scoring year so far with 14 goals and 21 assists. We just need to get the offense going on a regular basis.
The defence. Oi. It's been pretty bad. You know it's bad when DMo is getting scratched regularly. Yandle is having a slump year it seems. he's not horrible but he's not doing well. Klesla is trying to jump in more on the scoring. When he was out, our D suffered terrible. Our PK was just not good without him.
And the powerplay? Oh my god... will we ever have a decent powerplay? I have been a fan of the Coyotes since I moved here in 2006 and not once do I recall ever having a good powerplay. Every year I ask for one and every year the hockey gods say no. At least we aren't the last in the NHL, I believe we are in 28th. Out of 30. Ok, yah still pretty bad.
What would I like to see in the second half of the year?
- More physical play. When we play hard, we play better. I would like to see more guys lay out some hits, guys that aren't named Torres or Biz.
- More offense, more shooting. If you keep throwing the puck on/near the net, eventually it will go in. I promise. Unless the goalie has a force field in place.
- An improved powerplay. I am ok with all the passing on the powerplay. Let them get it set up. What I am not ok is always losing the puck or playing in the neutral (or your own) zone the entire time. Stay in the other teams zone, set it up and take shots when available.
- Less injuries. We need all guys 100% healthy.
- Play a full 60 minutes, never let up. Start off strong and end strong.
It seems Vrbata is back to the scoring part of his streakiness, which is good. We need him scoring. Both his goals came from weird angles. The first one was a surprise, like that really went in from there? And then he did it again. Keep it up Vrby.
Minnesota was awarded a penalty shot that should not have happened. There was a blatant high stick to a Coyote behind Minnesota's net. The player went down and the ref was standing there watching it all and didn't call it. The non-call led to Minnesota being able to break away causing Schlemko to get desperaate. Oh well... It didn't cause the game to be lost.
McElhinney stepped up and stopped everything after that. He did quite well this game. I was actually glad to see him start. LaBarbara needed a rest. He needs to clear his head.
My New Years Resolution is to write more on this blog. I hope to get more content up, at least something every few days if not more.
We upgraded for this game to make sure we had a good seats. Here is warmups from our seats. 8 seats from the glass.
Next up was a dear, heartwarming speach from Todd Walsh. He had me all choked up.
This is part of the video that played on the Jumbotron. It showed all his great milestones. It was very well done.
He had his wife and three children on the ice.
A moment from the ceremony...
Todd Walsh started off with a little joke (paraphrased) "If you got on the bus and the captain asked you what time the 12:30 bus left, you knew you were late". Apparently the old captain was a stickler about time and thus Mike Neeley presented him with a watch.
Next, GM Don Maloney presented him with a framed #7 jersey.
I just tried to zoom in on the jersey. It is a little grainy. I need the digital slr.
And finally the banner in the Ring of Honor was unveiled.
I love the Ring of Honor ceremonies. I was glad I decided to upgrade to the LL for this game. It was nice to have a great view. All I know is when Shane Doan is retired, I will bawl. I was almost crying for Walt and I was a Flyers fan when he was a Coyote but I could always appreciate a good hockey player. no comments
An oldie but I don't have any from this season. :(
It was nice to see Langkow back in the lineup. He has been missed. I do give credit to the organization for letting him take as mch time as he needed for the sudden loss of his mom. And boy did he have a great game! He had a two point game, assisting on the first and last goals.
Not only did Dallas arrive at 3 am but they suffered three injuries during the game: Lehtonen, Daley and Fiddler. The Coyotes took advantage and just kept attacking. The Coyotes kept traffic in front of the net with plenty of shots coming in from the blue line. They kept the pressure up for the full 60 minutes.
Of course the douchebag Ott tried to start something with Yandle. Yandle starting standing up for himself but luckily Pyatt steps in and helps him out. Yandle gets 2 minutes for roughing and Ott for cross checking. Ott also took a cross checking penalty with two minutes remaining. I'm sure that helped us make sure they didn't get any last second goals. ;)
Coyotes win this one 3-0. It looked almost effortless on their part. I hope we can keep this up. We have quite the roadtrip coming up. Tuesday we go into Chicago and Thursday its up to take on the Thrashers. We then return home and take on the Flyers on Saturday. I'd love to see four points on the road. If not we can lose to the Blackhawks in OT (need that one point) and beat the Thrashers in regulation.
And in conclusion, tonights Tysonism (patent pending):
Take a look here, it was rubbing him out.
I had to rewind the live feed to re-listen to that gem.
This topic has been talked to death but I feel the need to throw my two cents out, for what its worth. I know... not much. ;)
The issue is, do we need Biz? I say yes, for various reasons. He exudes a certain kind of charm. It is hard not to like the guy. At first I wasn’t sold on him but following him on twitter and listening to his interviews hooked me. This doesn’t even begin to touch the passion he shows on the ice for the game and his team. He might be a little different but its ok.
1. He puts himself out there. This is the real deal. He’s not being “safe” with his twitter or interviews. He tells you how he sees it. The Coyotes need a figurehead, someone fans and non-fans can connect with. Biz puts himself out there. He doesn’t just talk about hockey. His twitter feed is full of random comments and observations. He goes on KUPD and just talks with the guys, mostly about his ‘dating’ but it’s funny and anyone could listen and get what he is saying.
2. He doesn’t play a lot but when he does he gives the cliched 110%. Every second he is on the ice, he gives it his all. He does everything too. He goes in corners, he crashes the net, he hits, he fights but in a controlled manner (unlike a former Coyote who will remain nameless). There were quite a few goals last season that were a direct result of what Biz did on the ice, either for his linemates or the next line out. He may not get a lot of points but he does all the little things that matter.
3. He accepts his role and makes the best of it. Paul knows he’s not going to play every game. He knows he may have to stand up for a teammate. He knows he’s not going to be a scoring machine but he gets it. He doesn’t try to be something he’s not or demand more playing time or money. He makes jokes at his own expense but not in a self deprecating way. It is hard to put into words but its like this is what I do, might as well have a good time with it. That acceptance and good nature makes him great at what he does and shows the fans his passion, for the game and for life.
Those three points are why I think Biz needs to stay here. But the other idea the author mentioned was that instead of Biz we should be playing Miele. I take big issue with this idea. Does he not remember Kyle Turris? We have no need to rush Miele.
Andy Miele is doing amazing in Portland. He had a call up and did pretty well. He showed he will make it to the NHL someday but he definitely needs some more experience. Let’s just let Andy get some more time in the AHL and call him up for some games here and there. Let him get a taste and figure out where his game needs to improve.
Biz and Miele are two completely different players. Let’s say that the author of the do we need blog gets his wish. Biz leaves and Miele gets called up. I wouldn’t put Andy on the 4th line. He needs some linemates with a little speed and skill to help him reach his full potential. He is not a 4th liner; he is not a grinder. Having Andy on the 4th line would be a waste. Trading Biz and bringing up Miele would mean changing the lines but how would those lines look? Who would be patrolling for Miele? Who would we send out during those games in which we face a Parros?
Biz may not be a Sidney Crosby but he is every bit as vital to his team for different reasons. Phoenix needs Biz. We need his personality promoting hockey. We need his effort on the ice. We need his toughness. We need him in the corners and tweeting his thoughts. What Biz does for the team may not be obvious to a casual fan but if you really watch him, he can and does make a difference in games.
Turns out I have a very limited Biz picture collection. These are all warmup pics from a few seasons ago. I haven't taken many pictures this season. I do plan on taking more. I need to get back into the swing of things!
I'm pretty sure we had no defense men on the ice last night. Pretty much all the Canucks goals were a result of defensemen break downs. Smith was working his ass off but his dmen were not that helpful.
The best part of the game was the guy in our section that yelled out "We want Turris" during the PP. LMAO. Yes because his 19 goals over the past 3 seasons is really going to get our offense going. Yes, he is going to ROCK the PP. Kyle Turris still has a lot to prove.. he is not the answer at this point dude.
Also, I loved the old, fat Winnipegger behind me at warmups... "Are you guys going to sit down?" Me: No, we are watching warmups. Turn back around & do my best to block his view even more. If you want to see either stand up (like everyone else watching warmups) or move to where you can see. Nothing bothers me more than people telling me to sit down at games when everyone else is standing. Stop being lazy!
I also enjoyed the Swede (thats what it sounded she was speaking) behind me who started throwing her popcorn when the Canucks won. She is lucky that was just popcorn. If she had showered me in anything else, her ass would be severely kicked. Who does that?
Overall that was a sad game to watch. I pretty much started reading twitter in the third. They guys weren't putting in much effort, why should I? I am hoping tonight is better. Tonight may be even more important of a game. Each time we have played the Stars this season it seems we give up a goal in the last two minutes to tie it. We cannot give them a point tonight!
Let's Go Yotes!
I am thankful that I was able to see last nights game against the Ducks. It was one great game. It was probably one of the best games I have seen so far this year. They played a complete 60 minutes, well more like 57 but close enough. ;) They passed well, forechecked, got in front of the net, scored on the PP, actually set it up on the PP etc etc etc. It was a well rounded, well played games.
Vrby is on one of his hot streaks. He had two goals last night and whenever he was on the ice in the third it was get Vrbata the goal time. He wasn't so much concerned with the hat trick. You could tell he was just looking for the best play. He would shoot when he had an opening and pass when he didn't. I hate watching the team trying to force a hat trick; you need to let that develop naturally. Stop trying so hard.
The best part might have been Getlaf's mini-melt down and 10 minute misconduct. Both times he had a penalty, he ran his mouth. I guess the ref had enough the second time and he went bye-bye to a loud, cheering crowd. I can't stand that guy and not in like a if he was on my team, I'd like him, I just hate playing him way.
Klesla had a few good hits. There was a nice one on Perry into his bench. It was well deserved.
Mike Smith again played out of his mind. He is looking like a man possessed. I am hearing a lot of praise being heaped on him. Seems to be a lot of people that were saying signing him was a mistake are now singing his praises. It's no longer all his fault. ;)
Tomorrow the Canucks are in town. It would be nice to see the Coyotes build off the great roadtrip and win against the Ducks to get another win. Although I would prefer we beat the Stars, in regulation, on Saturday night. We have this tendency to be winning and let them score in the final minute and then win in a shootout. ARGH! I will be at both games. What a great week!
In other news, Kyle Turris has finally stopped being a brat and signed a 2 year contract. He is in Phoenix and skating so we will see what happens to him. I hope he starts out in Portland and I hope he does well. But... I won't forget how he acted, no matter how well he plays. I will want him to do well for the team but I will no longer cheer for or respect him.
Why you ask? Their coverage of the Phoenix Coyotes has always been lacking. I understood when the team were the perennial losers of the valley but they have made the playoffs the last two years and are playing well so far this season yet they still get no respect from the Arizona Republic or AZCentral (the online counter part).
It's great advertising because it's true.
With no NBA season (so far), one would expect that the Coyotes may get some priority, maybe a front headline after a big game or sending the beat writer to an away game or two. This has not happened. The Coyotes are still appearing below the fold or buried in the inside. On AZCentral they are rarely the main sports headline, often getting buried under high school sports.
I have no issue with them covering high school sports or the NFL. I think all sports deserve coverage but it would be nice to see the Coyotes get a big headline when they win and the Cardinals lose. It’d be nice if they could be a little higher priority than high school sports.
A few people I know have emailed the sports editor for the newspaper. Instead of taking the time to reply to each individual, he replied to everyone on the same email and failed to use the blind carbon copy (BCC). To me, that is very unprofessional. The emails did not come from one person with all the addresses already on it; he had to take the time to put all the addresses in one letter. This was a form letter and now everyone knows it. At least take the time to send an email to each individual who took time out of their day to express a concern to you or learn the BCC feature.
The letter contained many items that sounded like excuses to me. It was the canned letter and excuses contained therein that pushed me to the point that I had to unfollow, unlike and chose not to read their paper/site again. I thought the whole ordeal was very unprofessional and the easy way out.
The reasons they can’t give the Coyotes more coverage? There might be a NBA season so they need to keep that money ready and they have to think about the 2012 Olympics. This my readers is why the Republic chooses to use AP articles for all road trips and bury the Coyotes in the paper/site. Wow. Those sound like horrible excuses to me.
What if the NBA doesn't have a season? Why not invest in a team that is actually playing? Why not help the Coyotes get some of those NBA fans and build the sport? Even if the Suns start playing in January, why not cover the Coyotes in the mean time? What do you have to lose, besides upset Coyotes fans as customers?
As far as the 2012 Olympics, why do we need to send reporters there? Other than for their personal gain? There will be plenty of AP articles that can be used instead. Why choose to send someone on a much more costly trip for coverage of sports and events that not many people have a close connection to? Yes, I get Olympics are big and I watch them but I would rather have coverage on my local teams I follow year in and out over an event that happens every four years and have no personal connections to the athletes.
I started writing this last night and today there was even more interesting development. The Coyotes have let it be known that they have offered to have the AZ Republic fly with the team and use the team hotel rate. That means the reporter would have free airfare, what I’m sure is a deeply discounted hotel room and food costs, most businesses have around $40 per diem for food expenses. This sounds like a great deal yet the Republic still refuses to send a reporter along for even a few away games. This has disgusted me even more. Hell, I’ll go with the team if all I need to worry about is hotel and food!
An aside, the @azcsports feed is terrible. I get the ASU/UofA Duel in the Desert is a HUGE deal but all the Coyotes got was one tweet with the final score in the middle of a tirade of tweets leading up to the football game. Honestly, could they not tweet a little more variety? The Coyotes game was over before the football game even begun yet the Coyotes got one tweet that I’m sure many people missed.
As the main newspaper in the Valley, they have a responsibility to cover all the professional sports. This extends to their website, twitter feed and facebook page. Hockey fans may not be as numerous as football fans but we deserve quality reporting. I am glad to see fans starting to take note and raise the issue. Keep emailing and tweeting at them. As a friend brought up today, email, call and tweet the companies that advertise with them. Let those businesses feel some pressure so they put pressure on the Republic. Remember, money talks.
The reason I started blogging about the Coyotes back in 2007 is because coverage was even more limited. It has gotten much better but it still has a ways to go. Jim Gintonio does an excellent job with what he is given and has come along way since he was first assigned the Coyotes. I still follow him on twitter. There are also many more Coyotes blogs now but as bloggers we don’t get the press passes and opportunities to travel with the team. Our resources as limited. The Republic has access to all of that. They need to step up and give the Coyotes and their fans the respect we deserve.
I was provided a copy of the form email that was sent out. Please see below (I took out names and email addresses but left the first initials of those that received the email).
From: "Faller, Mark" <mark.faller@arizonarepublic.
To: G; D; J; C
Subject: Coyotes coverage
This will answer several e-mails I’ve received about our lack of staff road coverage for the Phoenix Coyotes.
We value the Coyotes and know they have loyal fans. But we have to make tough decisions about how best to use our resources to cover a myriad of sports in a crowded sports marketplace. At this time our policy with the Coyotes remains the same – we don’t expect to be able to travel with them. As the end of the regular season nears, and they appear headed toward the playoffs, then we will re-evaluate.
We are taking steps to minimize the impact of this decision by supplementing wire content with occasional staff stories on off days while the team is away – for example, reaching out to coaches and players on the phone when warranted.
Some have suggested that since the NBA is in lockout, we should reallocate travel money normally used on the Suns. That’s not relevant because we have to be prepared to react in case some form of a season still takes place. Also, we face new expenses in 2012, such as the Summer Olympics, that have to be considered.
Thanks for taking the time to share your concerns.
The Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
First off... All-Star voting has begun. The Coyotes have three guys on the ballet. Go vote and stuff. Yandle, Doan and Whitney. Feel free to write in any other Coyote. I feel Mike Smith and Klesla (don't laugh, he has been solid on D for us, like defense d, not offense d). Link if you need it... All Star Votes In case you are struggling for a 3rd forward, I would suggest a nice Jeff Carter. Just an idea.
It seems the Coyotes still have issues with playing a full hockey game. I feel this issue has been going on forever. How do we stop this? Toronto they played great the first 2 periods and started letting up. They were up 2-0 and ended up taking it to a shoot out. Finally, we won a shoot out. As this game was a few days ago, my memory is fading so on to last night...
This was a game they could have won. Mike Smith was OUTSTANDING. If he had not played so well the score could have easily been 10-1, if not more. And Bryz was Bryz but we just couldn't get enough offense going.We struggled to get any kind of control of the puck. We had a 4 minute PP andcould do nothing with it. We were lucky to get a good setup going.
The final goal was a result of our D not covering their man and worring too much about a non-called penalty. Yandle was scrambling & trying to cover but DMo had went to the corner and was looking for a penalty. The ref wasn't calling one so DMo, again, was mostly the cause of the last Flyers goal. Final score: 2-1.
I would have liked to have at least gotten a point out of this game but you can't always get what you want. We are 2-1 on this roadtrip. We just need to get as many points as we can. I could have cared less which east team we played last night. We just need to keep getting points. One is better than none!
Last night was a hard one though. I had to pick the Coyotes though because I live here and they are my number 1 but Philly is a close 2nd. More like a 1.5. ;) And sorry to say this but after the smack talk, we kinda deserved to lose. Karma. Don't get me wrong, I love when players are honest like that but it's better when they have the balls to back it up (I'm looking at you DMo!) Either way, I'm happy one of my teams won. Honestly, the Coyotes didn't deserve that win. They didn't deserve a point either, even though I really wanted OT.
Saturday night the Coyotes are in Buffalo and I am in Vegas. You can bet your ass I am betting on a Coyotes win. LOL Let's hope they win big so I win big. I will be watching the game from there. Don't worry. ;) And Monday completes the east coast trip with a visit to our nations capital. Why doesn't my friend still live in DC? I would have went for a visit!
After Monday it is a three day Thanksgiving hockey fest! Wednesday we take on the Ducks, Friday the Canucks (ohhh that kinda ryhmes) andSaturday the Stars. And yes... I will be at all three games! I hope to get some pictures. I haven't taken many this year.
There were so many things Tyson said last night. It is hard to pick a Tysonism. But I think I have to go with when he said the "first third period" like there was more than one third period. I know he meant the first third of the period but he said it wrong. He also over exaggerated saying PP when we were on a powerplay and it sounded more like peepee than pp. The nuanes of Tyson. You really just have to hear him to understand I think.