Tonight, the Phoenix Coyotes played against the Anaheim Ducks again for the second out of three consecutive meetings. It was déjà vu all over again… so to speak.
I will not recap the game in the same manner as last time because it pretty much went the same way. The Coyotes gave up a lead to the Ducks, then battle back for a lead of their own. THEN, they give up the lead and trail into the third period. Finally, they tie it up and Chipchura gets on a breakaway where he can’t get a call for the life of him.
It was a milestone night for the Coyotes, as almost every goal scored was a milestone for the player scoring. Antoine Vermette got his 150th career goal in the second. That was followed by Yandle’s 200 career point on the second goal of the game for the Coyotes. As if that wasn’t enough, Shane Doan hit the 800 point mark with his third period goal. Also surpassing Keith Tkachuk on the Coyotes all time Goal scoring leader board. Matthew Lombardi was originally credited with the fourth goal, which would have been his 100th career goal, but it looks to belong to Michael Stone.
Overall, this game was once again a very entertaining affair… with back and forth action and goals being traded at crucial times. There was a couple times where one could have thought the Coyotes would not be able to battle back. They did a magnificent job at battling back after not only giving up a shorthanded goal in the last ten seconds of the second period but also on the early third period power play goal by the Ducks. I have a feeling that Dave Tippett will not be so excited about the team’s performance in the game.
Smith may also not be so happy with how the game went. Once again he was left out to try on a couple of goals. But he also did not make some saves that he would have made last season. He’s very hard to read this year, just like the rest of the team. He can make amazing saves like the one he made on Saturday against the Ducks, and yet he can also give up a couple where he normally would have the save.
The biggest question a Coyote’s fan has to ask is this. How in the world does the team continue to give up open shots in the slot? It is clearly the biggest issue the team is having and as much has been said about it. Even though the players and coaches seem to know what’s wrong, it hasn’t been fixed. This can be a real problem going forward. The good teams in the league will not let you get away with it.
Finally, I want to use a little section from another blogger on the HockeyBuzz website and pick some stars for the game. For me, Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the first star of this game with his assists and shootout winner. It was a brilliant shot and solid play to push this team to the win. Second star for me was Steve Sullivan. He may not have shown up as much on the score sheet besides his one assist, but he was all over the ice creating plays. It’s good to see him heat up because he has been silent since his injury early in the season. My final star of the game is Shane Doan. The goal he scored in the 3rd period to tie the game was beyond huge. It was a quick answer to the Duck’s goal and allowed the Coyotes to play tied instead of chase the game.
The final game should also prove to be fun to watch on Wednesday in Anaheim. One has to wonder if we will get a three-peat of this type of game or a more defensive affair. Everyone have a great night and happy hockey! Any suggestions or ideas are always appreciated.