I wrote a little pregame for this game and I honestly thought that the Coyotes were going to win this game, and if they didn’t win the score was going to be close. After the first two quick goals I my expectations went to a close loss. By the end of the first period where Detroit was up 5-0 and Smith was pulled I gave up on the close part and starting hoping that it wasn’t going to be a shut out. Thankfully my standards of scoring at least one goal turned out to not be too high with the final score 5 – 2 Detroit. I will say that there were a few positive things to come from this game. Don’t worry I’m not going to say “This was a learning experience,” it shouldn’t need to be said that you don’t let a team get up by five in the first period of the game and I would hope that every member of the team knew that. But anyways on with the positives:
- Coyotes scored their first Power Play goal since the November 23 game against Anaheim, which is hopefully is going to be the start of something good in that department which the Coyotes have definitely been lacking in this season
- Ray Whitney got his 600 Assist, Congratulations to him although he would probably trade that milestone for a win tonight
- Jason LaBarbera was impressive after taking over for Smith in the first allowing only one goal and making a few impressive saves, Labarbera seems to be on a bit of a hot streak with a win in Nashville and not allowing Flyers to score after he took over for Smith for the Second and Third
The two biggest negative takeaways of the game I noticed were:
- This isn’t the first time it seems like a Phoenix allowed a team to gain the moment and completely control a period, and during these occasions Phoenix either lost or the game went to overtime:
- In the last Chicago all 3 of their goals came in the second, although in this instance Phoenix did score a goal in the second as well, Phoenix won this game in a shoot out
- 12-3-11 All 4 Flyers goals were in the first, Phoenix lost this game
- 12-1-11 Winnipeg’s lone goal in the first was the game decider, Phoenix lost this game
- 11-15-11 Toronto scored both their 2 goals in the Third, Phoenix won this game in a shoot out
- 11-10-11 Canadiens scored both their regulation goals in the Second, Phoenix lost this game
- 10-20-11 Kings scored both their goals in the Second, Phoenix lost this game
Looking back at these games I remember feeling that they weren’t as strong during these periods and if they had played the same way they did during the other periods of these games then the other teams may not have had scored as much as they did. Although to be fair there are a lot of other factors going into this like momentum which definitely contributes to this, and I’m sure that Tippett yelling at the boys after a period definitely helps the team rally back.
2. The Coyotes have really improved their penalty kill for this season, and one factor was that they weren’t taking as many penalties, in this game they were short handed 5 times, which is not a season high, that would be 7 during the game against Dallas on October 10th, but it is higher than their average of 3.25 times per game. It is also worth noting that every time they are short handed 5 or more times in the game they lose the game, although correlation does not equal causation.