Who is the unsung hero of the Coyotes so far this season?
Paige Dimakos: Defensemen Zbynek Michalek. I don't know if you remember the Kings game on October 29th, but he had seven blocked shots that saved that game. Yandle and OEL are getting most of the praise for the blue line because of offensive play, but I'm saying Z needs some praise for doing things that you don't see in the point's column.
Brendan Porter: I'm going to give this one to Jeff Halpern. He didn't start out the season with the team, but it was clear in their losses to New York and San Jose that the Coyotes were going to need someone who could split the load with Antoine Vermette when it came to defensive zone faceoffs. He is 58.3% overall in faceoffs this season, and does well on the penalty kill. Phoenix really needed someone else to make up for the loss of Boyd Gordon, and Halpern has done a lot to help in that regard. (Editor's note: More on Halpern's role with the team on Thursday)
Christopher Hair: I am going to say Rob Klinkhammer. He doesn't do anything great, but he does quite a bit well. He's got four goals and three assists. He plays anywhere from 10-16 minutes a night depending on what's needed of him. He leads the team with a +11 rating and 55 hits. Considering he's spent time playing top-6 minutes this season and has done nothing to embarrass himself in doing so, I'd say he's a quality unsung hero. If in three months he's still playing those minutes because the Coyotes haven't found someone better, it might be a problem. But for now, The Colonel has done everything asked of him and more. Sounds like a hero to me.
Should Brandon Gormley get a shot in the NHL over defensemen like Michael Stone, David Schlemko or David Rundblad?
Carl Pavlock: No, Gormley definitely deserves a chance in the NHL but until he is largely untested and as of right now and doesn't deserve a roster spot over a current NHL player. I think it would require either a trade or a couple injuries for him to get a chance to earn a roster spot. Michael Stone has been playing solid with the team, and Rundblad's skills put him at the top of the list.
Paige: Personally, I don't think David Rundblad has been given a fair shot. You can't base his play off of the bad night he has last week when he hasn't been given consistent pairings or playing time. That being said, I haven't been impressed with anyone of those three. So, I wouldn't mind seeing Gormley get a shot if the blue line continues to struggle.
Brendan: Why not? Rundblad clearly does not have the trust of the Coyotes' coaching staff as he continues to warm the press box when injuries aren't a factor. Neither David Schlemko or Michael Stone have done a tremendous amount to solidify their positions in the depth of the blueline. I would love to see Gormley get a call up and get a few consecutive games in the lineup to see what he has to offer.
Christopher: Over Stone, no. Over Schlemko, yes. Over Rundblad, well considering Rundbald isn't really getting a "shot" right now, I'd also say yes. But if that would be Gormley's role (play once every six or seven games), I'd rather see him continue to develop in Portland.
I just don't get why Schlmeko is playing over far more talented options in Rundblad or Gormley. I understood to start the season because of Klesla's health concerns, but if Klesla is healthy, I think they should be pairing him with a far more dynamic option. Plus, Schlemko on the power play is something that should never be happening, ever. The Coyotes defensive depth is good, but when that depth is only being used as Schlemko and Stone, there's a little worry.
Were you aware of the rule regarding the penalty for goalies playing the puck past the center ice line?
Paige: I was, only because I remember my dad telling me I wasn't allowed to play the puck in street hockey while growing up. My dad is the reason I love hockey as much as I do and we played street hockey a lot as kids. I was all time goalie, so I know all the goalie rules.
Barbie4Yotes: No, I wasn't aware of this rule. I'm sure it was instituted after the Roy incident but if the goalie is leaving the net to add another attacker, why not let the little guy play forward for a bit? It's gotta be boring to be a Stay At Home Goalie sometimes.
Carl: Of course, because I'm a regular reader of Down Goes Brown.
Christopher: Yes, I was. However, that was not the case before the summer. While doing research for my Greatest Sweater Number in Franchise History pieces, I spent a lot of time on YouTube looking up hockey highlights and found this one of Patrick Roy. Yeah, that guy was/is cray cray.
What's the craziest NHL rule you can think of?
Brendan: I was tempted to go with the rule I hated the most, which was "distinct kicking motion". Instead, I'm going to say the jersey tie-down rule. For those who may not remember, this was the rule that gave Paul Bissonnette a game misconduct in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks. That means the league views not having your jersey tied down to be as significant as hitting a guy up high with an elbow, being the third man in on a fight, and intentionally injuring another player. That's nuts.
Christopher: NHL rule 27.6. The last part of this rule cracks me up. As does the $200 fine. Seriously, $200?
Paige: Hmm, I can think of a few: No penalty for a high stick on a follow through, immediate scoring opportunity allowed to take place even if goalie's helmet comes off and goalie's ability to change on the fly.
Jaime Eisner: NHL rule 34.12: "Clubs are to provide high quality bath towels to Players, to be replaced on as needed basis." Because regular towels just won't do.
More from Five For Howling:
- From Awful to Artistic: Best and Worst Phoenix Coyotes Jersey Designs of All Time
- Phoenix Coyotes Reach Long-Term TV Deal with FOX Sports Arizona
- Shootout Success Nothing New For the Phoenix Coyotes
- Five for Fantasizing: The Captain is Coming
- Phoenix Coyotes at St. Louis Blues Recap: Surviving in St. Louis