The Phoenix Coyotes took on the Columbus Blue Jackets looking to try to improve their standing in the Western Conference and stop the Blue Jackets point streak.
This will be a quick recap as there was NO scoring in this game. The game was a back and forth affair with good team defense from both sides. The Coyotes managed to get more shots on the Blue Jackets… but many were from outside of the danger zones and did not present any trouble for hot goalie Bobrovsky.
This was the most physical game I have seen the Yotes play this season I think. They looked like they had a mean streak or something against the Blue Jackets which was surprising. The refs almost let the game get out of control by allowing both teams to take advantage of the other’s goalie. However, this makes for a fun game to watch as a fan when both teams are on the edge.
The game went all the way to the shootout without any kind of scoring. Both Blue Jackets shooters made good moves and left Smith reeling on the ice after putting the puck into the net. On the flip side, both Coyote’s shooters did not convert. Columbus earned the win in my opinion in this game. They looked like they wanted the game a little bit more than the Coyotes. There was finally good defense and goaltending by the Yotes, but it was wasted by a horrendous offensive effort.
This makes two games in a row in which the Coyotes have been shutout. Not a very acceptable number for a team wanting to get to the playoffs. One might look at the shots on goal and think that the Yotes put forth a good offensive game but like I said earlier… it would not be the whole story. The Yotes have not been getting traffic in front of the net when shooting from the points. That is assuming they do decide to finally shoot the puck instead of pass. One problem I see is that there isn’t a player willing to take the shot instead of passing it off. I can’t say if that’s because they are trying to get a better looking goal or not confident in their shot but there have been many passed up opportunities that resulted in a blocked cross seam pass. When shots ARE taken, they are from the outside with not much traffic in front of the goaltender. Finally, it looks as though the team chemistry isn’t there again. The Yotes have been dumping in the puck and not having the right players in the right position. The support and outlets have not been where they need to be to continue offensive pressure. Many times it will be one Coyote player surrounded by two or three defenders with no chance of keeping the puck. They will need to sort out these issues if they want to get back into the win column.
My three stars of the game are as follows: Third is Yandle, who had some nice offensive plays and looked to push forward the offense. Second is Doan, who had a solid game with good hits and offensive potential. My first star is Mike Smith, who made some nice saves and had a regulation shutout. He also made a great pass to Rob Klinkhammer for a breakaway and the best Yotes offensive chance of the night. It was a bit difficult to pick out a second and third star, as not many players on the team really stood out with the lackluster offensive performance. However, I may just be harsh on the team because I believe they are better than they are playing.
Everyone have a great St. Patty’s day!!