The Coyotes were defeated today by the Nashville Predators 3-0.
It was the kind of game through the first 2 periods that both teams would be comfortable playing any day. It was very defensive with almost no real big threats on goal. There really is not much to say about those first two periods because neither team really grabbed the momentum and a lot of back and forth outside play.
However, the third period saw a change in the pace of the game. Nashville brought some more energy and out hustled the Coyotes on their fore check. The pressure continued until they got a lucky bounce on their first goal by Bourque. The puck was thrown towards the net, went through his skate blade and over Smith’s right pad for the lead. I have to credit to Nashville for going to the dirty areas and putting the puck on net. That’s why it’s never a terrible idea to throw the puck on net with traffic in front.
After that goal, the Coyotes play got more sluggish and led to some wide open slot shots by Spaling and Fisher. They finished with some brilliant shots, but they were helped tremendously by how much time and space they had in the most dangerous area of the ice.
I have to wonder why the Coyotes looked so tired in this game. They were slow to move their feet and lost steam the further the game went on. Considering they had two days off from their road win in Colorado, they should have been prepared for this game in Nashville from an energy standpoint. Like I said in my previous blog, the only thing consistent about the Coyote’s play this season has been their inconsistency.
On another note, the injury parade continues for the Coyotes. Derrick Morris, who has had a great come back season for the Yotes was injured and did not return after the first period. This is starting to get crazy. I would love to see the team go a stretch of 5 games with the same roster without this kind of shenanigans at least once this season. Only time will tell! Perhaps I will blog about Morris’s stellar improvement in a separate blog to come.
Overall, I have to tip my hat to Nashville for their ability to cash in on mistakes and stick to their game plan and hope that the Coyotes don’t put forth another effort like that next time out on the ice. Everyone have a Happy Valentines night!