GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 13: Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates after scoring in the second period as Gilbert Brule #8 and goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes look on in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 13, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Today's Tracks post includes a laconic recap of last night's game befitting last night's effort by Phoenix's hockey squad. In other words, since there is little positive to reflect upon, minus Derek Morris’ goal from the other side of town and the play of the second line, I’ll make things brief.
The Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings both had long layoffs prior to the start of the Western Conference Final last night. The Kings displayed no rust, while the Coyotes looked like they thought the game was a morning skate session at times. Even though the Coyotes were badly outplayed in the game they were only down one goal late. While they may not satisfy many fans, it shows that the team can win games in this series if it decides to show up.
Five For Winning
1. Get an early lead. The Coyotes do much better when they aren't chasing the game, and we can't expect Quick to gave up the same weak goals that Corey Crawford did. Negative. The Kings scored first.
2. Shoot everything. Quick isn't used to taking the same amount of shots on goal that Mike Smith had too, hopefully getting a lot of rubber on net will allow the Yotes to figure out how exactly to beat him. Negative. Most of the rubber in the game was in the Phoenix end. Shot total was in 48-27 in favor of LA. That doesn’t even count the25 shots the Coyotes blocked.
3. Win the faceoffs. Faceoffs are going to be especially important in our zone. Luckily this was something that we did very well in the last two series and it needs to continue. Winning the faceoffs helped us win games. Negative. LA won the faceoff battle by a wide margin (57% to 43%).
4. Special teams. Not only do the Coyotes need to continue having a strong penalty kill that they have had, but they need to get their power play going. The power play unit is going to have to be good on two fronts, they need to net goals and they also need stop the Kings penalty killers from getting a short handed goal like they have in their past two series. Neutral. The Coyotes power play was it usual self. Thankfully so was the penalty kill.
5. Play physical. I saw in an article that Dustin Brown thinks that these teams are pretty even but he thinks the Kings are the more aggressive team. The Coyotes need to to show him just how wrong he is, but remember to keep it clean. We don't want another suspension like the one Rostislav Klesla had to serve. Negative. The Kings were by far the more physical team. Negative. Only the Coyotes line of Boedker-Vermette-Doan seemed to look to impose any physical punishment the other way. Not surprisingly they were the Coyotes best line.
Comment Of The Night
Expect a much better effort from Dave Tippett's squad when the two teams go at each other again on Tuesday night.
Kings vs. Coyotes Game 1 Post Game News
Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was given Wayne Gretzky's blessing - - The Arizona Republic
Brief notes on the '09 coaching change, Langkow, and the Yotes shot blocking prowess.
Coyotes give fans reason to celebrate as naysayers lurk - The Arizona Republic
Long time are enjoying the metro area embracing the Desert Dogs.
Will institute body-check agreement on Coyotes? - AZ Republic
Boyd Gordon not afraid to get down, dirty for Phoenix Coyotes - The Arizona Republic
Gordon finally getting the respect around the league and in the media he's deserved for years.
Sunday could be interesting at the Staples Center - ProHockeyTalk
Being a Staples Center employee this week should put some extra cash in your wallet. The question is whether you will be awake or even alive to spend it.
Tea with Ms. Conduct: About the Final Four Goalies - Backhand Shelf - theScore.com
A look at the four netminders left playing in the NHL playoffs.
Smith, Brown lead MVP race at midway point - Stanley Cup Playoffs
After last night its safe to say Brown is in the lead at the moment.
News From Around the Hockey World
Dale Hunter Resigns: Former Caps Coach Says Decision 'Right For Me And My Family' - SB Nation DC
The iconic Cap head back to his OHL team.
IIHF MWC: USA-Finland Recap - The United States of Hockey
Team USA's crazy World Championship run got crazier on Sunday against the home team.
Blue Jackets Name Todd Richards as Full Time Coach - The Cannon
Columbus removed the interim tag this morning.
Report: KHL to exempt returning NHL players from salary cap - big payday for Radulov? - On the Forecheck
Sounds like the KHL wants Radulov back and probably wouldn't mind Semin returning home either.
Hockey culture, character, and winning: how we choose what we value - Raw Charge
Is winning more important than character?
The Final Howl
Connected by Phoenix Coyotes' spirit - The Arizona Republic
Last night's loss doesn't seem so bad now does it.
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