GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 20: Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates off the ice as the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate their win following the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on March 20, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Wait there was an actual Phoenix Coyotes game going on during all those big announcements last night? Huh. Interesting. I barely even remember that. Probably because it was kind of an odd game in and of itself. There were stretches that made it look like the two teams were already in the playoffs and then there were equal stretches that looked like both were in the preseason. In the end though it was once again the penalty killing that led to the downfall in the end even if it never should have been.
Tied 1-1 late in the 3rd some genius of a ref called a holding call against Shane Doan that wasn't even close. It's the call that's gone against the Coyotes frequently when players take their hands off the stick and get wrapped up, but this time Doan had both hands on and brought his stick on top of Niklas Hjalmarsson's and when Hjalmarsson looked around somehow the ref decided it was a penalty after calling nearly nothing all game. In fact there were only three combined penalties the entire game. Chicago was able to capitalize though as they netted both of their goals on the power play and defensively locked the Coyotes out.
Not that the Coyotes helped themselves much going long stretches without a shot on goal. At one point in the third they had gone more that 12 minutes without a shot on goal. That's not a recipe for success by any measure. Ilya Bryzgalov has a solid game and deserved better and the defense did a solid job at even strength of getting rebounds and loose pucks to the sideboards or out of the zone entirely. The guys just had a bad break and couldn't get it back. Tippett even ripped the late penalty call in the post game.
Five for Winning:
- Stopping them on the Power Play by not taking penalties? - Kinda, we only took two and were disciplined, but both times the Coyotes gave up goals on the PK.
- Coyotes able to convert on the PP themselves - No. They only had one chance, but couldn't get much going.
- Limit the top line of Toews, Kane and Sharp - At even strength yes, but Kane and Toews had the assists on Campoli's GWG
- Contain Hossa - Generally yes, he ended up with an assist on the first goal but even when he made good move the Coyotes were able to stop him
- Forecheck to exploit the Chicago D - A bit, but there was a ton of neutral zone play for both sides so it was hard to get a constant forecheck as both teams forced turnovers constantly.
Tippett Press Conference: