Tonight the Coyotes hosted the Calgary Flames, who just came of a hard fought come from behind victory last night against the Dallas Stars.
The Coyotes were looking to take advantage of that fact when they were coming into this game… and take advantage they did. In less than a minute they grabbed the lead with a rebound goal by Keith Yandle. I got to feel for Calgary’s net minder, Daniel Taylor, as this was his first NHL start and he could do nothing to stop that quick first goal. Also featured in this first period was a fight between Paul Bissonnette and Tim Jackman. Very solid fight by both guys and just made the game that much more fun. The rest of the first period went by without any goals but the Coyotes accomplished what they wanted to by keeping puck possession and trying to tire out the Flames.
The second period saw the Flames make a very good effort to tie up the game. Oliver Ekman-Larsson took a weak holding penalty and from that point on, Calgary took momentum and pressured the Coyote’s net. Mike Smith came up with some nice saves and the Yotes were able to hold on. On a side note, I liked the officiating overall for this game. Whenever the game goes by with just one penalty for both teams it usually is a good sign to me.
The third period showed the fruits of the Coyote’s effort to tire out the Flames. Another first minute goal by Mikkel Boedker seemed to suck the life out of the already tired Flames. This goal might be one that Taylor would want back, but it shows that it’s never a bad idea to shoot the puck. The game went on and Antoine Vermette got a goal in a scrum in front of the net followed by a Raffi Torres snipe from the side boards to put the Yotes up 4-0 for good.
Overall, the Coyotes did the job they were supposed to do tonight. Some key players scored as well. Vermette had gone 9 straight goalless games until tonight. Hopefully, this goal heats him up and gives him some momentum. Yandle also has started to warm up since his game against the Blue Jackets. He has been very impressive with his offensive prowess. I am getting the feeling that the Coyotes are starting to play to their system a little better. Next step is to do so consistently and continue to win some more games.
One final note for the game… During the broadcast, there was an interesting statistic given by Fox Sports AZ. The attendance for this season is up 27% from last season during the same amount of home games. This is good news of course for the Coyotes, who would always love to finally get a new owner. On top of this, the game against Calgary was a sellout. As a Coyote fan in AZ I can only hope this pattern continues and Phoenix gets behind this well managed team. Later in the week I will talk about the Coyotes playoff chances. Happy President’s day to everyone!