Last night, the Phoenix Coyotes played against the St. Louis Blues in their second game in as many nights. After losing to Anaheim 2-0 the previous game, the Yotes were looking to have a solid rebound game against a banged up Blues squad. Unfortunately for Coyotes fans, the Blues had their way with the Coyotes last night. The final was 6-3, but it wasn’t even that close of a game.
The first period was actually a good point for the Coyotes last night. They came out with energy and looked to control the game. This is most likely attributed to the “fourth period” phenomenon announcers and whatnot like to say. Even though they had a good offensive cycle game to start the game, the Yotes lost a defensive zone faceoff and the point shot was put in on a rebound by Stewart for a 1-0 Blues lead. Later in the period the Coyotes would take a penalty, however, and end up scoring their first shorthanded goal of the season. Boyd Gordon pounced on a bobbled puck at the point and fed it forward to David Moss. He barely converted his breakaway past Allen in a goal he would surely like to have back. At the end of the period the teams went into the locker rooms tied 1-1 and the Yotes probably felt pretty good about how the game was going.
The second period started off well for the Yotes as well. A misplayed puck behind the St. Louis net popped right into the slot for a waiting Shane Doan. He buried his chance and the Yotes took their first and final lead of the game. Suddenly, not too long after that, the Blues found their legs and the Coyotes could do nothing to stop them for the rest of the game. A point shot was put on Smith, who haphazardly blockered it into the air in front of the net. Patrik Berglund took his gift and fired it into the net to tie the score. Shortly after, the Berglund would again get a backhand shot on net after a turnover by Morris to take the lead. It was a goal Smith would also want back. Three or so minutes after that, the Coyotes had another turnover in the defensive zone that ended up on Scott Nichol’s stick right in front of the net. He couldn’t have been more alone if he tried. 4-2 lead for the Blues going into the third period.
At this point, the Coyotes still had a little bit of hope left. However, the Blues would pull a nice little pass play as Sobotka put the 5th goal of the game into the Coyote’s net. It was an absolutely dreadful defensive play to watch as a Coyote’s fan. I am sure that the Blue’s fans had a lot of fun watching this game though. Another later goal by Alex Pietrangelo would put the blues up 6-2. In the final minute of play the Coyotes FINALLY capitalized on a power play goal by Keith Yandle to put the final score at 6-3.
Well, it was a brutal game to watch for Coyotes fan’s once again. They are supposed to be known as a defensive team, but have played as anything but for a good stretch of games now. Tippett was asked about his team’s play after the game and he did not sound so pleased. To paraphrase, that wasn’t the Coyotes out there on the ice tonight… if players don’t stop making the same turnovers in the same places and get their game to where it needs to be other options will be looked at. I have to agree with what he is saying. I don’t think anyone could point to a person on the Coyotes last night and say that they were playing a good game. To date, none of the Yote’s players have really performed up to their abilities, and that has to change before the season is lost. It leaves me wondering, along with Eklund’s announcement that the Coyotes could be buyers, if there are any moves being considered by the Yotes.
That all said…it is now halfway through the season for the Coyotes. They are not in great position to make the playoffs, but they also haven’t played themselves out of a spot yet. If they can find a way to get back to the right type of hockey consistently, they should be able to make it into the playoffs. I will write up a mid season report card for this team sometime soon. Everyone enjoy their Friday night, the weekend is finally here!