The week leading up to the Olympic break was typical Coyotes. They had a Dallas sandwich with Chicago as the meat.
Tuesday was Dallas at Phoenix. What can I say about the game? Vermette scored our only goal. *yawn* Where were the Coyotes that took on Pittsburgh?
Friday was awesome. Not only did the Coyotes beat Chicago but they had members of the 1980 Olympics team present and come out to drop the puck. Then there was a surprise Alice Cooper concert in the second intermission. Alice Cooper preformed three songs, Eighteen, No More Mr. Nice Guy and School's Out (with some Pink Floyd mixed in). It was a fantastic surprise.
The Coyotes also handed Chicago their first shutout since 2/25/12. But Mike Smith sucks, right? Oh and of the last 10 games Chicago was shutout? All goalies are heading to Sochi AND Mike Smith had three of them. No wonder Chicago fans hate Mike Smith so much.
Saturday the Coyotes went to Dallas to round out the games before the Olympic break. DMo did not make the trip and (surprise, surprise) Mike Smith started in net. And we welcomed back the same team that played Tuesday. Apparetnly they could not keep up the intensity they had against Chicago. Of course Vrbata gets hot going into the break. Hopefully this isn't the end of his streak but I suspect the break might be a problem for a well-known streaker.
Enjoy the Olympic break and I will see you back here in March, most likely. There will be no Monday Misconduct for the next two weeks (2/17 and 2/24) due to the Olympic break.no comments
Now, about this week...
Tuesday LA came to town. I really enjoyed this game. I feel like it was one of the best played, full 60 minute efforts we have seen all season. Greiss was in net and earned his second shutout of the season. I believe this is not due necessary to his prowess as a goalie but rather how the D play in front of him compared to Smith. They play much tighter around Greiss. They collapse down and clear the crease. With Smith they tend to give him more room and let him shove players out of this crease. Granted, Smith plays well with a little room but the D need to be aware that they need to help him out. They should be keeping opposing teams out of the crease. They should play a little closer with Smith as well.
I did miss the forwards a bit in this game. Two of the three goals were from OEL. Goals from D should be like icing on the cake, not the reason we win. Although OEL was one shortie away from a Vermette. I was rooting for him but he just didn't have enough time to pull it off.
I enjoyed how few penalties were taken. Keep this up. It is easier to score and win when you aren't playing a man down. I also liked how when they had the lead they played to win, not to keep the other team from scoring. Never let up when you are winning. Once they do that, they give the other team the time and chance to catch up and beat them.
I was surrounded by some interesting fans this game. In front of me was the president of the Greiss fan club, whom the owner (he wouldn't tell us which one) has told they hate Smith and he wouldn't be back next year. He seemed to have no idea what a no movement clause is. Or the balls to bet Justin that Smith would be back. Behind me I had the LA King fan that was annoyed at everything that was remotely anti-King. If you don't like it, go back to LA and only watch games there. You will find that anytime you are a visitor. We saw/heard lots of anti-Coyotes when in LA. We didn't complain. We took notes and shared ideas with the Coyotes suggestion email, some of which we have seen done in our arena.
On Wednesday was the official name change announcement. We knew it was coming. We know why it is happening. That does not mean I have to like it or accept it. I will however enjoy the markdowns on all items that show Phoenix on them. :D
I also really enjoyed this quote from Ben Scrivens, "You don't get a shutout without a lot of help out front". It really goes back to my point about how the D plays different in front of Smith than Greiss. The D have to help the goalies out.
Thursday we played Buffalo and I was not surprised when Greiss was announced as the starter. He earned it. It also gives Smith a good rest before facing a tough team on Saturday (I knew he'd start against the Pens).
One question... Where was the team that played on Tuesday? You know, the one in which every player came to win and the D was strong. Where was the team that helped Greiss get his second shutout of the season? Because obviously he didn't get those just being a great, amazing, fantastic, starting goalie.
You know who showed up? Vermette. He is having an awesome year (and it's not even a contract year). Vermette should not be carrying this team but since he is, he deserves an A. Marty isn't doing much A worthy so take his and give it to Vermette.
We can't expect to make the post season playing one game up and one (or two or three) games down. We need to find consistency. We can't play down to any team. Yes, Buffalo should have been an easy win but you have to play them with the same intensity you play the Kings or the Pens. We can't sit back and go, "Oh this will be easy". Always play to win, always.
Saturday against the Pens is the type of game we need to play every single night. We had another complete game in which everyone showed up. We didn't give the Pens much room. We played to our full potential for all three periods. Smith was looking up to his old form and making some great saves. I didn't take any notes on this game and my memory is failing me (hence why I need to take notes).
I had a feeling they would win this game. Or maybe I just hoped they would come back with a vengeance after the Buffalo game. If they can continue to play the way they did against the Kings and Pens they should have no problem making the playoffs. If they continue the up and down trend they would have to be extremely lucky to make the playoffs.
Before the Olympic break we have three games. Two against the Stars and one against the Blackhawks. My coffee hasn't kicked in yet so my only sentiment about the week ahead is WE MUST BEAT CHICAGO. That is all. Enjoy your week!
All Images Copyright Hipchecks, 2014no comments
I am doing my first ever giveaway! I know you will all want to toss your hat in the ring for this one. :D
What are you doing Tuesday, February 4th? Well, if you win this contest you will be enjoying the Phoenix Coyotes take on the Dallas Stars.
That's right, I am giving away two (2) upper bowl tickets to the game on the 4th. Free tickets, who doesn't want that? The tickets do not include parking.
How do you win the tickets? Leave a comment and tell me who your favorite Coyotes player is.
What are the Rules?
- You must be able to attend the game. I want to make sure there are butts in the seats.
- The comments must include who your favorite Coyotes player is.
- The contest will be open from Friday, January 24th and will close on Wednesday, January 29th at 5 pm Arizona time.
- Each comment counts as one entry. You can enter up to five (5) times. If you have more than five favorite players, too bad. ;)
- The winner will be selected using the Random.org Integer Generator.
- The winner will be posted on January 29th by 7 pm Arizona time.
- The winner must contact me by January 31st by 5 pm Arizona time or a new winner will be announce.
- The winner must have a valid email address to which the tickets can be sent.
That's it! Get commenting and win those tickets!
Contest is not sponsored or endorsed by the Phoenix Coyotes. I received the tickets through my season ticket holder account and have decided to do a giveaway with them.no comments
All over twitter fans were calling for Mike Smith's head on a platter. Then Greiss put in an awful performance and you started to see people blame the defense. I even saw a few random tweets wondering about Tippett and Maloney. I think I saw one lone tweet (besides my own) wondering about offense from the forwards.
A call up from Portland isn't going to fix this. The players that have been up have, for the most part, done a decent job. Young, inexperienced guys are not what we need. The call ups have a bright future but they aren't going to be the spark that ignites this time.
The Coyotes sit in 11th place in the Western Conference with 46 points and a 20-17-6 record, just three points out of the final playoff spot and five points out of third place. In such a tight playoff race every game will have major implications.