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Coyote Tracks - Now With Less Grief Thursday April 29 Edition

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Y'know...if you don't read Puck Daddy on a daily basis, you might not be familiar with his eulogizing of the teams that get knocked out of the playoffs (Wyshysnki assures me that ours will be up at some point tomorrow...yippee).  I've always thought it was a cute idea, and generally found them to be an enjoyable read.  But I didn't really understand quite how apt the analogy was before yesterday.  Because yesterday felt a bit like the hour before a funeral of a loved one as mourners file in and offer up their an extent. 

Posting yesterday's links was a little time for reflection on the Coyotes season and following all of the comments at the site, and also at Winging It In Motown where they were nice enough to move my little congratulatory note to the front page.  Generally, everyone was nice and offered words of encouragement about the fine season the Coyotes had and the fact that they underestimated how good the team was and what an enjoyable series it had been.  And it was nice to reflect on it all.  Much the way that a funeral allows you to remember the joy that the person who has left you gave you over the many years.  And Puck Daddy's official Coyote eulogy will be the final closure on that (I'll get it up in a fanshot as soon as it is posted).

But the analogy isn't quite right either.  Because the Coyotes aren't dead.  Sure, their quest for the 2010 Stanley Cup is over and there will be changes to the team before the puck drops in Prague next year (according to @LukeLapinski only 165 days away!).  And there's still uncertainty about the ownership and everything else, but nobody that watched the end of game 7 has any doubt that Coyotes hockey in Phoenix can and should succeed.  And while the ownership situation may not be settled yet, I am confident it will be.  So let's not forget how far the little team that could has come this year, but start to focus on how good it can be next year and beyond...

LAST NIGHT'S NHL SCORE:  MTL 2-  WSH 1 (Montreal wins series 4-3) - can I just echo a lot of what I saw on Twitter last night when this game went final.  Wow...just Wow.  What a final three games Jaroslav Halak had in this series and how badly must this sting for Capitals fans.  It's amazing to me that the Coyotes powerplay so dramatically outperformed the Capitals powerplay over their respective series.  NHL playoffs, there's a reason why they are the best of all professional sports.

After the jump, Dave Tippett is a finalist for the Jack Adams award (start engraving it now), a game 7 controversy is discussed, Shane Doan talks about watching games 4-7 and more...

'Suspect calls' were not primary reason for Phoenix Coyotes' loss
The Coyotes admit there were suspect calls but that they weren't responsible for the loss.  A brief note on Game 7 and some of the questionable calls.  Can't argue that the calls made a difference in the outcome...

Phoenix Coyotes' Dave Tippett a finalist for NHL coach of year
Gintonio with his usual amount of "expertise" - actually, I don't want to knock Gintonio who has gotten better as the Coyotes primary beat writer in Phoenix.  I've just always been disappointed with the coverage that the team gets overall and it's easiest to single out the person who is the one you read most often...

Jack Adams Award Finalists: Tippett vs. Sacco vs. Trotz - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Puck Daddy provides a far more in-depth look at all three coaches and raises the pros and cons of each.  All kudos to Joe Sacco of the Avalanche and Barry Trotz of the Predators for the job they did this year.  In any other year they would have a real good chance of winning...but this award is Tippett's and he should just start writing that acceptance speech.

Let's get on to the Game 7 controversy that I didn't know about until yesterday.  Here's the news from Puck Daddy:

Video: Keith Yandle classes up Coyotes' elimination vs. Wings - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports

Now I don't agree with Wyshynski's choice of words for the headline or what I took to be his implications in some of the things he said.  It seemed a bit harsh to me on Yandle, who I generally regard as a stand-up player.  So myself, and others, gave him a bit of grief on Twitter and it launched me into a side discussion with Matt Saler who is the author at On The Wings blog...I eventually ended up frustrated with the limitations of 140 characters and shot Matt an email, which led to a response and a rebuttal.  It's all at the link below and I recommend you read it so that I don't have to rehash it here.  I didn't warn Matt that I would be linking everything here, but since he published it all himself, I'm sure he won't mind.  If you choose to comment at his site, though, realize that you are representing the Coyotes fanbase and Matt was very cool throughout our discussion...

Followup " On the Wings

And with that out of the way, if you didn't get a chance to listen to Shane Doan discussing the Coyotes season yesterday with Bickley and MJ, you really owe it to yourself to do so.  8 years of waiting and he ends up with one of the worst injuries he's probably had in his career.  Unbelievable.  The fire he has is amazing and I can only say...get healthy Shane and come back ready to roll next year because we have big plans and you are at the center of them!

Some of the rest of the blogosphere weighs in on the Coyotes and their future...

Much to Love About Coyotes and Their Future -- NHL FanHouse

Coyotes magical season comes to abrupt end - Coyotes vs Red Wings - 2010 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Coyotes optimistic after storybook season -

Looking at the Coyotes' on-ice future - ProHockeyTalk - Hockey - NBC Sports
Saw this article and it is a good start, albeit one clearly written by someone that doesn't follow the team closely.  We are going to have plenty of articles about offseason moves and free agent signings and the future roster, but this is a good place to start getting informed about what the decisions facing GMDM are going to be.

Or you can go here.  Either way, you'll see the following information:

UFAs: Lombardi, Michalek, Lang, Pyatt, Aucoin, Stempniak, Morris, Schneider

RFAs: Upshall, Hanzal, Winnik, Wolski, Lepisto, Schlemko, Heshka

That's a lot of unsigned players that need to be addressed one way or another.  This is the reason we need the ownership situation finalized quickly.  And hopefully, if it is Reinsdorf that purchases the team, he is ready and willing to spend enough to make it work.  Perhaps we'll do a full evaluation of each UFA and RFA in turn and discuss pros, cons, and everything else.  Stay tuned. 

Finally, for your Thursday whimsy...quite frankly I'm tempted to just post the puppies .gif file again, but I'll save you from that adorableness for the time being.

No, We've linked to a lot of stuff from Down Goes Brown and they are a great source for hockey related humor...but Blades of Funny is giving them a run for its money with great posts day-in and day-out.  I linked to an article by them earlier in the week (or last week) and they continue to impress.  In addition, their Twitter feed (@bladesoffunny) has been gold as well.  So go over there and give them some love, eh?

Got more Coyotes news and notes, post 'em below...