The Phoenix Coyotes took on the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on back to back nights this weekend. I will be pretty brief in my explanations of the games because I did not see enough of them to give what I believe to be a high-quality analysis. Also, I am not a huge fan of writing a lot after losses because sometimes there is not much positive to say.
First off, the Yotes took on the Oilers on Saturday. This game was probably hard to watch for fans on both teams. Sloppy is the best word I can put on it. Each team gave up multiple breakaways on their powers plays and each team let in goals they would want to have back. All that said, the Coyotes jumped out to an early lead and built on the lead to make it 2-0. However, they seemed to lose focus and sit back on it and the Oilers did a great job battling back to tie it up. The shootout was a lopsided affair with both Oilers shooters making marvelous moves while the Coyote’s shooters shot blanks. Overall, I have to give Edmonton credit for not giving up but the Yotes should be disappointed that a Dave Tippett coached team could not hold on to a 2 goal lead.
Tonight, the Yotes looked to rebound against the Calgary Flames. I did not see as much of this game but I will say that the Coyotes managed to battle back in the third period after losing a 2-1 lead and being down 3-2. With less than 2 minutes left in the game the Yotes totally forgot that the period wasn’t over and left none other but Jarome Iginla in the slot wide open to put a goal past Mike Smith to tie it. Much to their dismay, that was only the beginning of their end. Less than 30 seconds after conceding the tying goal… the Yotes let another high slot player, Curtis Glencross, get open and that was the game. Only really good thing for the Coyotes in this game was that Torres had a beauty of a goal assisted by Michalek.
It is a really big concern that the Coyotes are dropping the late game leads. One has to ask what has to be done to get the team to finish out these games and take the two points home. It appears that the players continue to lose focus and forget that they aren’t more talented than the other team. The way the Coyotes normally win is by outworking the other team and playing solid team defense. Frankly, their play of late has been anything but. It turned out to be a very disappointing weekend for the Coyotes and their fans, but a very good weekend for the Oilers and Flames.