The war between the Detroit Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes continues as the series enters game 3 at Jobing.com arena. The Red Wings escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes and now take a commanding lead 2-0 of the best of seven.
The Coyotes have been a tale of two teams where we have seen the best and the worst with more of the latter than the former. However, Coyotes' captain Shane Doan has been trying to lead the pack out of the wilderness and the team almost brought the game to OT Saturday afternoon.
It's the proverbial must win for the Desert Dogs. Can they pick up their first victory of the series?
Until the second half of the second period Saturday night back to the second period of Wednesday night's tilt, the Red Wings have shown just why they have all of those banners and trophies. Pavel Datsyuk has just been stellar stealing the show and taking his game to another level. He was invovled in each of the four goals the Red Wings produced, scoring one and assisting on three.
His supporting cast has also shown their experience taking advantage of opportunities from Coyotes' mistakes and making these mistakes count in the form of untimely goals. Brian Rafalski and Darren Helm were able to light the lamp and once again Tomas Holmstrom reminds us why he dislike him so much as he scored the eventual game winner.
Where the Red Wings have superstars, the Coyotes have a team and they must return to the pack-mentality-discipline-play that brought them this far. They cannot make costly penalties against one of the elite teams in the NHL. If they play like they did the last half of the game Saturday, the Coyotes should be in fine shape.
I just wonder if someone in the dressing room shared what Mike "Doc" Emrick said about the Coyotes being the Washington Generals. It would have been just poetic to have the Coyotes win that game so that he could swallow his words. A victory tonight would help that cause.
Five For Winning
- With All Due Respect, the Coyotes can play a stingy form of defense shutting down the acrobatics of Datsyuk and company. Limit his time and space so that he cannot razzle-dazzle us with his trickery.
- With All Due Respect, the Coyotes can score goals. Saturday afternoon they found pucks to get past Red Wings' goalie Jimmy Howard. They were 9th in the league on 5-on-5 and 14th overall during the regular season because they do have some offense and they have the ability to make opposing goalies think that they may not have what it takes to win. They made Howard think so last season.
- With All Due Respect, Ilya Bryzgalov can stop pucks. He is the primary reason why the Coyotes are right here, right now. He was tied for 6th in the regular season for wins, tied for 4th in shutouts, and 11th in save percentage.
- With All Due Respect, the Coyotes get stronger as the game progresses. They were third in the league with goals scored in the third period, and ninth in the league with goals scored in the second.
- With All Due Respect, the Coyotes can play a very stingy defensive game. They ranked sixth in the NHL with a plus/minus differential of a plus-24. They have played with elite teams and beat them - ask Vancouver...they weren't too pleased with the Coyotes taking points away from them.
I don't think the Washington Generals, who only won six games of the thousands they played against the Harlem Globetrotters are the right comparison here. In fact, they took these Red Wings to seven games last year and the Red Wings were so worn out, they couldn't get past the second round.
They also beat them twice in the regular season this year and earned points for two OT losses. Washington Generals indeed...
|2010 - Jimmy Howard||63||3615||37||17||168||2.79||1830||1662||.908||2|
|2010 - Ilya Bryzgalov||68||4060||36||20||168||2.48||2125||1957||.921||7|
2010 - Pavel Datsyuk
2010 - Taylor Pyatt
|2010 - Pavel Datsyuk||23||36||59||11||15|
|2010 - Taylor Pyatt||18||13||31||11||27|
Detroit Red Wings Injuries
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|