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Coyote Tracks - Thursday March 11 Edition

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Well it was a packed house last night at Arena to see the Canucks and Coyotes do battle.  Unfortunately, that crowd was split far closer to 50-50 in terms of Canucks and Coyotes fans than I would like...but the Canadians were generally pretty nice...and they did help to drown out the god awful national anthem singer...where, oh where, was Patrick Lauder?  Seriously...he's the official anthem singer for a reason, people.

As for the game, Coach Tippett said it best in his presser, the Coyotes were lucky to come away with any points, let alone 2.  Although defensively, they played pretty solid, mental lapses by various players (I'm looking at you Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris) and just simply getting outworked along the boards was par for the course.  Travis will have much more about all of this in his game recap, I have no doubt.  The important points to remember are the Lee Stempniak (aka Desert Ninja) had a HUGE game with 2 goals during regulation and then another in the shootout.  Adrian Aucoin continued his role as shootout master, and Ilya Bryzgalov was good enough to get the Coyotes their 2 points. 

Now for the Coyotes, a four game swing through the Southeast division while avoiding Washington (the one team that you really don't want to play in that division).  Hopefully they can continue their winning ways.

LAST NIGHT'S NHL SCORES:  NYR 3 - NJD 6; DAL 3 - BUF 5; CAR 3 - WSH 4 (OT); LAK 2 - CHI 3 (OT); VAN 3 - PHX 4 (SO)

Recaps of last night's Coyotes win...Travis' take here.  [AP via ESPN] [AZ Central's Gintonio] [Nucks Misconduct - it'll be there at some point] - As an aside, thanks to all the folks from Nucks Misconduct that made their way over to the comments yesterday and chatted some hockey.  Good people - best of luck the rest of this season, except when we play you again ;)

After the jump, why Stempniak should've had a hat trick, NHL's GMs make a decision on head shots (sort of), a Congressional logo mishap and more....

Video: Andrew Raycroft's blind robbery of Lee Stempniak - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Seriously...this was a crazy save that Andrew Raycroft made early in the first to rob Stempniak of what looked like a sure goal.  And I think Raycroft made a few more saves like this (Taylor Pyatt and Shane Doan each got robbed when it looked like they had an open net to shoot at).

NHL GMs approve blindside head-shot ban with vague penalties - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Alright, I realize I link to Puck Daddy a fair bit, but it's a convenient site for general hockey news and they do a good job of discussing the issues cogently.  Particularly on the head shot issue, because I tend to agree wholeheartedly with what Wyshinski thinks on the topic...

No suspension for Matt Cooke after blindsiding Marc Savard - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Further case in point...

Chris Pronger also had a pretty interesting take on the head shot debate.  I see what he is arguing here, although I do think that the NHL needs to step in and do something about the head shot issue.  It would be nice if they would do it in a concrete way...this proposed rule has so many vague wordings it doesn't seem much better than Colin Campbell's current wheel of justice.

Tippett hiring a catalyst for Coyotes' success - - NHL Insider
Dan Rosen with one of the most obvious articles ever.  Ya think?  Really?  Tippett has turned this team around...perish the thought...

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan up for Mark Messier Leadership Award
You can vote for Shane Doan through next Monday for the Bridgestone Ultimate Leader Award....requires registration with - but that's completely worth it to vote for Captain Coyote!!!!

Bettman's Nightmare: "Those Damn Homer Refs": Team Edition
An interesting study on which teams get called for the most penalties on their own home ice.  Phoenix gets called for much more than the average and the worst in the Pacific Division, but they're not getting screwed nearly as much as the Flyers...

D.C. Sports Bog - Could Caps score their way to a Cup?
Dan Steinberg's analysis of teams that have gone to the Conference Finals over the past several years is not encouraging for the Coyotes' chances.  Despite the old adage "defense wins championships," the NHL has not apparently been following this model as it's the teams scoring goals that are making the most noise.

And, finally, this is a pretty funny goof from a Senate candidate in Oregon who didn't realize that his web staff made some potentially improper use of the Blue Jackets' logo.

Senate Candidate Only Supports Government Takeover Over Hockey Logos - Politics - Deadspin
Oregon Senate candidate Marc Delphine loves America so much that his web team co-opted the Columbus Blue Jackets logo and made it their own. Maybe Columbus can let us borrow their employee health plan too. [Thanks, Matt C.]

The Blue Jackets were on it and the logo was gone by the end of the day.

Enjoy your Thursday...Coyotes off until Saturday when they take on Carolina in Raleigh!