2/1/14 Town Hall and Tailgate News!

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COYOTES TO HOST A TAILGATE  AND TOWN HALL MEETING!

When:

    Saturday, February 1st at 4:00PM (prior to the Coyotes game against the Pittsburgh Penguins)

Where:

   At the Coyotes tailgating area outside of Gate #6 on the east side of the arena (LOT G)

Details:

  FOX Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh will host the event, allowing fans the opportunity to have questions answered and provide feedback on ways to improve the overall fan experience.

Representing the Coyotes will be:

•Co-Owner, Executive Chairman and Governor George   Gosbee

•Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc

•Executive Vice President and General Manager Don  Maloney

Please plan to tailgate in Lot G for this Saturday 2/1/2014! THAT IS TOMORROW FOLKS! Come Early (we will be starting around 2PM) to take advantage of a reduced parking fee for that lot. Jeff Jones from the Coyotes facilities/parking team has given us the heads up that if you have a pre-purchased Lot J permit, the parking attendant’s will take your pass + $5 and allow you to park in Lot G for this event. If you are purchasing ‘day of’ you will pay $15 to park in Lot G. (Normally Lot G is $20 on the event day.)

CORRECTION!!!

For any person that has not pre-purchased a parking pass, they will get charged $20 to park in Lot G tomorrow.  If people want to pre-purchase their Lot G pass (who doesn’t already have a pass) they can purchase for $15 on Ticketmaster or by calling their rep today. 

Those that have the pre-purchased Lot J pass, we will accept the additional $5 as their previous pass was pre-purchased.

Let’s show those ‘official lot’ tailgaters how it is REALLY done! SPREAD THE WORD! INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! BLOG IT! TWEET IT! FB IT! (feel free to copy this if you want to save time)

LOT G TAILGATING 2/1/2014 starting at 2PM 

GATE 6 TOWN HALL 2/1/2014 starting at 4PM

As a special incentive to all my Lot J, Patio 6, Coyotes Coalition  and any random people who read our blogs and messages…  The first 3 people to find us in Lot G (and get setup nearby) will get tickets to the 2/4/14 game against Dallas. One of those lucky 3 folks can claim (3) tickets the others will get (2) each!

See you there!

Swap The Whole Defense With Portland? They Might Try Harder

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Poor Greiss. He finally gets an extra chance and the entire team played like headless chickens in front of him. Seriously, I believe that the game against Anaheim was THE worst game I have ever seen the Phoenix Coyotes play… and thats saying something, considering the game against the Jets was nearly as bad. So now that the team has pretty much announced that we don’t have a goalie issue (because they played so damn badly that the second coming of Jaques Plante couldn’t have helped them win these 2 stinkers) what exactly IS our problem?

What is wrong with our defense? Seems like just about everything is wrong. What happened to the confident , scoring blitzes from the beginning of the season? Did Tippett rein them back too hard and now they are afraid to be that edgy scoring force? Too many changes daily with injuries and youngsters trying to fill shoes too big for them? Hmmm all of the above is probably the answer.

Murph has been surprising for such a youngster but he was never supposed to be eating the kind of minutes he has been lately… against some of the best offense in the league to boot, now he has been sent back to Portland. Presumably we will be getting Z back soon… Rundblad is NOT the answer. Speaking of Runblad… why? I just don’t understand him holding a spot and NEVER getting to play. If he isn’t helping, put him in Portland and give some other kid the spot or trade him for help. Scratching the kid night in and night out sure as hell isn’t helping him or us.

OEL is being targeted and used as a punching bag from first puck drop every game lately which certainly limits what magic he can perform. Somebody needs to step up and level the fools trying to kill the kid. If this keeps happening he will get gun shy and we cannot afford for that to happen any more than it already has. He has not been the driving-over-the-line-in-search-of-an-open-net sharp shooter that he used to be. To be productive he probably needs to feel a sense of safety rather than feeling like a turkey leg at a Renfaire.

Yandle has been amazingly stable (yeah I know, defensibly stable and Yands have not had the best relationship over his career)  and yet he has been turning in some decent defense lately, need to cut the kid some slack on his brain farts since he is trying so hard to step up and lead more than he should have to. His turnovers are becoming legendary though. When he screws the pooch he REALLY picks the worst EVAH moments.

Does anyone even notice when Klesla is or isn’t on the ice anymore? As one of the veterans you would expect Rusty to step up instead of leaving most of the hard work to Yands but he just hangs around swatting at the occasional puck that goes by instead of standing people up on walls and making our corners into a death trap like he should. We see flashes of what he CAN be but they seem almost involuntary. The guy has the size and experience but apparently his motivation has bailed and he appears to be marking time until he can leave Phoenix behind him. (Maybe at trade deadline?)

Stone and Schlemko or the blah and blah blah twins. Neither really hit any more. Stone seems to have forgotten that he is a behemoth and can do damage if he really puts his back into it. He also seems to have forgotten that he owns a canon and has had great success unleashing that shot. Schlemko on the other hand has less tools to work with, size-wise and shot-wise but he was always a positionally sound kind of guy… not so much lately unless getting suckered out of your shorts is now considered PC (positionally correct)? They both need to remember and play to their strengths or find a seat in the press box and let Gormley or Summers have another stint. (Gormley almost has more points than the 2 of them combined.)

The Demolition Man started the season, lean, mean and fast. Good thing he still had #53 on his back or I wouldn’t have recognized Derek Morris. DMo has had some off-ice issues to deal with and may still not be all the way back mentally. He needs to get there, fast! Yands is suffering from not having his mentor/partner all the way in the game. Unfortunately for all concerned, Mo is pretty much the only one who can work well with Yands at this point ( You all saw the disaster of Dmen pair swapping that was the Ducks game). Since the D are hanging back behind the offensive blueline too much (for fear of getting burned…again) Mo might as well release his laser canon everytime he gets in range of the opposition goalie…if he nails it YAY! If it bounces loose and out… well they aren’t playing close enough to keep it in anyway so no harm done? (This is called the throw-shit-at-the-wall-and-hope-something-sticks method of scoring… worth a shot right?)

Bottom line…there is nothing wrong with any of these guys. Everyone needs to dig down deep, remember what their roles are. Do YOUR job. (Not Tom’s job, not Dick’s job and not Harry’s job… YOUR job) Make everyone trying to get all up on your goalie pay for the priveledge. Own every corner like a grizzly sow with cubs. If there is a loose puck… it must be yours, fight tooth, nail and soul to get possession of that thing. When your forwards sacrifice their bodies in front of the opposition’s net, you damn well better shoot a puck or 4, they aren’t just getting the hell knocked out of them for the fun of it. (It’s called screening dumbass but it is a wasted effort if no one is shooting.) And for God’s sake if you get blessed with a damn powerplay, treat it like a 4 alarm fire… URGENCY!

Stop trying to be something you aren’t and play every shift like SC finals game 7. If you aren’t capable of giving that kind of intensity anymore… maybe you need to tryout for THIS and leave the real sport to those willing to leave it all on the ice.

NEXT – Why is our offense so offensive?

 

 

 

 

WTF? Am I Missing Something Here? Goalie Rant

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You have a starter goalie… your #1 guy. He gets most of the games in the season… I get that. BUT  come on Tippett and Co!

FACT: Mike Smith is an excellent goalie.

FACT: Mike Smith is a goalie that takes major risks.

FACT: Mike Smith is going to get burned once in awhile.

FACT: Mike Smith is getting burned more than once in awile lately and freaking himself, his team and the fans the hell out.

FACT: Mike Smith is losing.

more facts

FACT: Thomas Greiss is an excellent goalie.

FACT: Thomas Greiss is a goalie that does not play risky hockey.

FACT: Thomas Greiss is saving games.

FACT: Thomas Greiss giving his team calm and confidence and making the fans take notice.

FACT: Thomas Greiss is winning.

Sooo… given the facts before you Mr. Tippett… stop making Mike Smith more nuts! Give him multi-games on the bench at least once to observe his team so that when he takes his insane risks, he doesn’t burn them so much. This is NOT the team he is used to playing in front of. This team is so hodge podge and injury riddled on any given night that there needs to be some adjustments made by this awesomely insane maniac protecting the pipes.

Not saying Mike Smith is in danger of losing his #1 status. (He may be in danger of some freak fans *204* cough cough… tying his ass to the pipes next game though) I’m just saying you just may be killing his confidence and causing him to be even more insane by not giving him a little breather to calm down, take stock and get his shit together. (Perhaps a little push from another goalie might not be such a bad thing either or is his ego/will to win too fragile for that?)

Thomas Greiss has been nothing but awesome as a backup. He is so damn calm in there and the team reacts to that. I’m starting to wonder if he has more than just backup material in the tank. I understand about #1 goalies… yes I truly do. But Thomas Greiss might just make an excellent tandem partner. Remember the bad old days when San Jose could throw Toskala or Nabakov at you on any given night and they could both kick ass and ignore names?

It really pissed me off to watch Thomas Greiss work his ass off and grab that shutout and then not get to start the next game. HE FREAKIN EARNED ANOTHER START! How bout for a little while, we run the winner? He who wins, stays in net until he loses, then the other guy gets a shot. Talk about lighting a fire under everyone’s ass!

Sorry for the rant. Our losses are not just Mike Smith’s fault although letting in 3 to 4 goals in less than 20 shots sure doesn’t help anything. The whole team sucks some nights but right now, there is no one to save their collective butts when their suckage gets out of control. Maybe it’s time to use Thomas Greiss like the little Dutch kid at the dyke until our starter and his Sybil teammates can stop leaking.

Carry on…

 

GAME 26 – Chicago Snowbirds Come to Glendale for Defeathering

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and yes, defeathering is a word… I think I just made it up. Coming to a dictionary near you soon.

Yes Rusty is back… for how long? Depends on his performance? Depends on if GMDM can get the trade he is looking for? Depends if Z is ready soon? IDK, just depends. So onto GDT for Dawgs versus Hawks

 

 

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Puck Drop: 6:00 PM (Local Time)

Location: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Az

 

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:smallCHI: BLACKHAWKS (19-4-4) at :smallPHX: COYOTES (15-6-4)

Season series: The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes will play their second of three games. The Blackhawks won 5-4 in a shootout at United Center on Nov. 12; seven of the past 15 games between the teams have gone to the tiebreaker. (Can we please NOT? Let’s get ahead so we can end this in a Coyotes regulation win. It is a lot of fun watching the Chicago fans start leaving early.)

Big story: The Blackhawks wrap up their seven-game “Circus Trip” in the desert. After a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the first game, the Blackhawks have won five in a row, including a 2-1 victory against the Dallas Stars on Friday night in an 11-round shootout. The Coyotes are back home after ending a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. (Time to break out the streak buster. We have been pretty good spoilers over the years.)

Team Scope: :smallCHI: Blackhawks: If you want to beat the Blackhawks, rest assured you’ll need to play a full 60 minutes, and sometimes more. The game against the Stars marked the third time in five games on their road trip that the Blackhawks won despite trailing after two periods. On Friday, Patrick Sharp tied the game by scoring at 7:21 of the third period, and neither team scored through overtime. Sharp scored in the second round of the shootout, Dallas’ Rich Peverley matched him in the third round and no one scored again until Ben Smith beat Kari Lehtonen in the 11th round for the win. “It was a heck of a game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “The pace was incredible, the first period was tremendous pace. They work hard and get a lot of speed on you, they keep pressure on you, but we hung in there. Crow (Corey Crawford) was rock solid and great in the shootout as well, but it was one of those games that was tight and we had to do things quickly. “It’s pretty remarkable we’ve had three games out of the last four we’ve been down 1-0 going into the third and we found a way to win. We showed great character tonight.” (That last line sounds really familiar. This my be one of those he who scores last, scores best kind of games.)

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:smallPHX: Coyotes: Phoenix is off to one of the best starts in franchise history, but the Coyotes hadn’t been playing the kind of tight-checking hockey Dave Tippett preaches — at least not until Wednesday, when they stifled the Wild in Minnesota. Radim Vrbata scored twice, Mikkel Boedker had a first-period goal and backup goaltender Thomas Greiss made 28 saves. “We didn’t give up an early lead,” Tippett told the media Friday. “We were solid in a lot of the aspects of the game that we wanted to kind of shore up. Our puck decisions were good, we defended well around our net, our goaltending was really solid. It was just kind of a solid team game that we’ve come to kind of know our identity that way.” (One of the best Coyotes hockey performances so far this year. Like the TBL game, if we could string a couple of these together it would cement the process in the team’s collective mind  I think.)

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Who’s hot: Patrick Kane was kept off the scoresheet Friday, ending his 11-game point streak, but still has three goals and six points in the past four games. Sharp has goals in back-to-back games. … Radim Vrbata has two goals and seven points in the Coyotes’ past five games.

Injury report: Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell (lower body), goalieNikolai Khabibulin (lower body) and defensemanMichael Kostka (lower body) are out. … Phoenix is without forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and defensemanZbynek Michalek (lower body). Captain Shane Doan (lower body) sat out practice Friday, but the Coyotes expect him to be able to play.

 

KEYS TO VICTORY:

Make the neutral a war zone. These guys are all about speed and cunning entries into your zone. Lace it up tight all 60 minutes!

Make them come down the length of the ice all night. Tired legs and tired minds make mistakes. They played a hell of a round last night. Take advantage.

Keep Shaw away from Smitty. Mike loses his damn mind whenever Shaw is in the vicinity. Smack Shaw down as often as possible, you can add Sharp to the smack around list if need be but make sure on Shaw.

Hold Col. Klink to his word. He should be a not so sekrit weapon since he should know their tendencies so well…. exploit having played with them! He’s due anyway and a few other people besides the usual suspects need to throw some pucks… never know what will sneak past.

These guys can be the kings of throw crap at the net. Make sure whatever they throw is bad angle and way outside. This cannot be a 50 SOG night.

Not sure at this writing if Rusty will play tonight but the blue line better look as good or better than last game… or else.

 

Game Day Preview Courtesy of NHL.com, Brother Q and Me

Hungrier than ever… And crazy enough to kill something and eat it! Go Coyotes!

 

GAME 25 – Dawgs Loose in Elf-city, Bag the 2 Points Before Santa Finds Out

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Puck Drop: 7:00 PM (Minnesota Time)

 

Location: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Mn

 

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:smallPHX: COYOTES (14-6-4) at min25x25g.gifWILD (15-6-4)

Season series: This is the first of three games this season. The Minnesota Wild were 2-1-0 against the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012-13.

Big story: Both teams may be missing one of their top players. Coyotes captain Shane Doan left the game Monday against the Nashville Predators with a lower-body injury and did not participate in practice Tuesday. He’s considered day-to-day. The Wild will try to extend their home winning streak to seven without leading scorer Zach Parise, who’s expected to miss two to three weeks with a bruised foot after blocking a shot against the St. Louis Blues on Monday. (In or Out Parise for crying out loud. How can a team plot strategy when 1 minute you’re expected out for 2 weeks and the next media story has you playing tonight. Sheesh. The Captain will be in. Greiss getting the nod for this one. Brownie and Murphy called up.)

Team Scope: :smallPHX: Coyotes: With or without Doan, Phoenix will be trying to break a three-game losing streak. Kyle Chipchura skated in Doan’s place at practice Tuesday. Doan has been in top shape over most of his 18-year career with the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise; he has missed just 38 out of a possible 1,055 games since the 1998-99 season. While Doan is second on the team with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists), the 37-year-old wing gave much of the credit for the offensive success to his teammates. “Everyone on our team seems to be doing more offensively, and I seem to be reaping the benefits out there with the guys that are doing a lot offensively,” Doan told azcentral.com. “If you look at my goals, they’re like tip-ins and redirections, bang-in rebounds. There isn’t anything that’s super fancy. It’s pretty simple.” (It is always a better game with the Capt in it but the boys had better figure out what they need to do and just DO it. We have enough firepower to get this done. The question is really do we have enough stopping power to get this done? Surely there is more than just Doaner that understands the will to win and the meaning of the word urgency… if not, take their A’s away and let someone else lead. Time to man up and stop holding Doan’s coat tails.)

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min25x25g.gifWild: Minnesota is second in the Western Conference with 22 home points this season, including its current six-game winning streak, but the absence of Parise puts a big hole in the offense. Parise has 11 goals and leads the team with 22 points. The timing of the injury couldn’t be much worse. Eight of the Wild’s next 10 games come against Phoenix, Colorado, Chicago, San Jose and Anaheim. “Really frustrated, especially looking at the schedule that we’ve got coming up,” Parise told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We have some important games, some tough games, so the timing is not ideal, so hopefully it won’t be that long and I’ll be able to come back sooner than we’re saying.” (Oh sit down and rest. You can come back and make Col and Chi miserable.)

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Who’s hot: Martin Hanzal has two goals and three assists over his past four games for the Coyotes. … Wild captain Mikko Koivu has three goals and six assists over his past seven games. (Marty appears to be the Immodium of our group. Plugging up the middle of every game and waving his butt in the opposing goalie’s face is his specialty.We need someone else to watch and learn how because when Marty isn’t able to go, we look all vulnerable and play like a bad bathroom break. Hanzal is hot alright because he is willing to pay the price.)

Injury report: Besides Doan, winger Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are injured for Phoenix. … The Wild are dealing with a few question marks for Wednesday. In addition to Parise, goalieJosh Harding (lower body) and forwards Torrey Mitchell (leg) and Mikael Granlund (upper body) are questionable. Defenseman Keith Ballard (leg) is almost ready to return. (Hi Bally! Please don’t come back tonight. Rest with Zack or kick back with Z and hash over old times please. You can come back and use that crazy hip check aginst Chicago I have missed seeing people go ass over helmet. But not against us okay?)

KEYS TO VICTORY:

It is time to stop looking around for answers. We already know how to play, let go of your game7 dreams of GWG glory and embrace the reality of the hard work you have to put in to get there. Right here, right now you have to take a look at our system and your part in it. You have to reach out and embrace your role. You have to WANT to win and be willing to sacrifice body and soul. If not here tonight, then when.?The road does not get any easier.

Opportunistic scoring. Manage your pucks, seize your chances and be a little selfish. Your team won’t hate you for it… if you score!

Speciality teams that actually understand the words vitality and urgency.

A defense that realizes that they have to defend from the front of the neutral not just our damn blue line. Give Greiss some room to work and a REAL team to backstop… remember the goalie is supposed to be the LAST line of defense…not the ONLY one.

Offensive players who realize the 2 guys in the back aren’t the only ones who are responsible for keeping the Elves from scoring.

Game Day Preview Courtesy of NHL.com Brother Q from theNHLArena.com and Me

A moment of prayer… Tiny Coyotes fan Presley A. has been hospitalized with meningitis. Our hearts and prayers go out to her and her family for a quick and full recovery.

Hungrier than ever and crazy enough to kill something and eat it! Go Coyotes!

GAME 23 – The Quack Stops Here

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Puck Drop: 6:00 PM (Local Time)

Location: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Az

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4 Upper Level Tickets, 4 Hot Dogs, 4 Pepsi’s

Only $99! CLICK HERE to get yours!

Games: 10/26, 11/9, 11/23, 12/14, 1/4, 1/11, 1/18, 3/15, 3/29, 4/12

Advance sale only.  No day-of-game Box Office Walk Up

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:smallANA: DUCKS (16-6-3) at :smallPHX: COYOTES (14-4-4)

 

Season series: It’s the third of five meetings between the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes, but the first one at Jobing.com Arena. The Ducks have won twice at Honda Center, 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 18 and 5-2 on Nov. 6.

Big story: The Ducks come to the desert for the first time this season on top of the overall standings after a 1-0 overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. But beating the Coyotes won’t be easy — Phoenix and the Ducks are the only two teams that have not lost in regulation at home. (They will be gunning to be the last team standing with this stat. We need to make sure they fall first.)

Team Scope:

:smallANA: Ducks: Anaheim pounded away for almost 65 minutes against Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop without any success and was less than six seconds away from going to a shootout before winning the game on a fluke goal. Bishop stopped Ryan Getzlaf‘s shot, only to have teammate Richard Panik accidentally knock the puck into his own net for the win. (Lucky bastages. Tonight will be different. We need to beat these a-holes good. Once and for all so we KNOW they don’t have our number.)

 

The lucky goal gave Jonas Hiller a shutout victory on a night when he got the call at the last minute after Viktor Fasthsuffered a lower-body injury in pregame warmups. The pregame ceremonies honoring Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer gave him some extra time to get ready.

“I found out after warmups,” he said of being told he’d play against the Lightning. “I’m glad we honored Scotty, so I had a few more minutes to mentally prepare.” (Shut up Hillibilly, we’re coming for you. There ain’t enough preparation in the world if the team I saw the other night steps on the ice.)

 

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:smallPHX: Coyotes: Phoenix has points in all 11 of its home games, but it’s the one that got away Thursday that had coach Dave Tippett upset a day later. The Coyotes rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, only to have the visitors tie the game with 3:14 left in regulation and win it on Ryan O’Reilly’s power-play goal in OT.

 

That goal came with defenseman Keith Yandle in the box after the Coyotes had killed off a Colorado power play earlier in the extra period.

“In a tight game, mistakes matter,” Tippett told the media Friday. “When you put a team on the power play twice in overtime, it usually comes back to bite you — and it did.” (Yep ouch. I am usually the bigget non-Yandle fan in the building but the boy has been so good defensively this season he is making me lighten up on him. Bad break caused by trying to make up for poor execution. Just stop it Yands, get your groove back on boy and cause the Ducks a bad case of Candle burn… I meant Yandle burn… light ‘em up early and often but don’t let them burn YOU.)

 

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Who’s hot: Getzlaf has goals in three consecutive games and has scored six times in the Ducks’ past five games. … The Coyotes lead the NHL with 19 goals from their defensemen. Michael Stone scored against Colorado and is tied with Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators for the League lead with seven. (Defense first, scoring comes from creating turnovers and staying in the offensive end. Make it so, Stoner!)

Injury report: The Ducks say Fasth isn’t likely to be available and are expected to recall a goalie, likely Frederik Andersen. They placed defenseman Francois Beauchemin (upper body) on injured reserve prior to the game Friday. Center Saku Koivu (head), forward Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand) and defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) are out. … Phoenix has been playing without defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body), who’s on IR, as well as forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body). ( We do miss those two, espially on the PK… so let’s NOT do too many PIMs and win this thing in regulation for the gippers.)

 

KEYS TO VICTORY:

Do NOT be thrown about willi nilli. Stay strong on your sticks and stay on youtr damn feet. These guys are bulls and when they bowl you over, Teemu Selanne happens to Smitty.

Getzalaugh is on a tear, you have to limit his chance.Perry is the main sniper on that line but seriously, limit Getzie’s puck management and you limit a lot of Perry’s chances as well.

Keep your cool.Nothing these boys like to do more than rattling your cages and making you do stoopid stuff. The Kings do it better but these guys seem to get under your skin almost as well. Cool, calm and deadly are watch words for this game. Play smart, play on your own timetable.

You got 40+SOGs the other night. I have not seen such determination from this team since the finals. I LOVED pissed off Hanzal…  pisstivity is awesome… directed at the net. If all of you can produce that same urgency and deadliness for at least 40 minutes and some Tippett protectiveness for the other 20, this WILL BE YOUR GAME!

PS… Hey Yands, tough break… don’t give up.

Game Day Preview Courtesy of NHL.com, Brother Q at theNHLarena and Me

Hungrier than ever and crazy enough to kill something and eat it! GO COYOTES!

GAME 22 – Yeti Claws Are Comin to Town

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Puck Drop: 7:00 PM (Local Time)

Location: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Az

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2 Lower Level Tickets & 2 Domestic Beers

Only $99! CLICK HERE to get yours!

Games: 10/31, 11/21, 12/12,  1/2, 1/9, 1/30, 3/6, 3/20

Advance sale only.  No day-of-game Box Office Walk Up

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:smallCOL: AVALANCHE (15-5-0) at :smallPHX: COYOTES (14-4-3)

Season series: This is the first of three games. The Phoenix Coyotes were 2-0-1 against the Colorado Avalanche in 212-13.

Big story: The Coyotes have not lost a home game in regulation this season and can extend that streak to 11 on Thursday, a streak that would match a club record set in 1998-99 when ties were counted in the standings. The Coyotes also are seeking to extend their home winning streak to nine. The Avalanche will try to avoid a third straight road loss when they visit Jobing.com Arena. (Oh suure, jinx us why don’t you! Seriously, we are playing scarily concentrated at home right now. Hopefully that continues to net us 2 points for a bit longer. THIS IS OUR HOUSE!)

Team Scope:

:smallCOL: Avalanche: Colorado came out the gate very strong with a season-opening six-game winning streak overall and six straight victories to open its road schedule, but has since lost three of its past four games. The Avalanche were outscored by an aggregate of 13-5 in a three-game losing streak before turning things around with a convincing 5-1 win against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. (No team likes geetting their butts handed to them and for the first time in awhile the Avs have pride and determination. We better bring our A game despite the rest period. NO SLOW LEGS!)

The effort against Chicago was more typical of the way Colorado has played this season under first-year coach Patrick Roy. Goalie Semyon Varlamov bounced back with 36 saves, and the scoring was balanced, with goals coming from five different players. (Has the distraction period finally worn off? IDK but seems like the team put it behind them in CHI-town and are ready to play some puck.)

Roy confirmed that Varlamov would be his starter Thursday in Phoenix. Roy prepared his players for the Coyotes by stressing the need for a strong offensive presence in front of the crease during practice Wednesday. “We want to make sure that we do a better job around the net, picking up those rebounds,” Roy said. “That’s where we think this game is played.” (Around the net is definitely the dirty area where games are won or lost. Hopefully the boys can continue their neutral zone harrassment and newly developed puck management techniques to keep the Yeti from camping anywhere near our net.)

 

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:smallPHX: Coyotes: A four-day hiatus from game action may not be ideal for Phoenix, which comes into the Colorado game winners in three of its past four games and carrying the 10-game point streak at home. But coach Dave Tippett and his players kept their focus throughout the break and are determined to pick up where they left off Saturday, when they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3. (AGAIN! NO SLOW LEGS. If we come out all touchy feely, this team will eat our lunch.)

 

“You can spin [the break] either way,” Tippett told the Coyotes website following practice Tuesday. “We got some bumps and bruises, and that will help guys get through. But when things are going well, you want to keep playing.”

 

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Who’s hot: Paul Stastny has points in six of his past seven games, with four goals and three assists over that span. … Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past five games. (Hot, shmot. This team has hotties all over the place and I ain’t talking about looks. On any given night The Col or OEL or just about anyone heats up. The real trick is preventing ANY AVs from being hot tonight, our scoring will take care of itself.)

Injury report: The “bumps and bruises” Tippett referenced concern forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and defensemen Zbynek Michalek (lower body) and Derek Morris (lower body), who are questionable for the game Thursday. … Avalanche center Matt Duchene missed the Chicago game with an oblique injury, and Roy confirmed Wednesday that Duchene would not join the team for its two-game road trip. Defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) and forward Alex Tanguay (knee) are on injured reserve.

 

KEY TO VICTORY:

Fast start. We have been on break. We have been known to be slow and play a responder game after breaks. If Z and Mo come back, they may not be up to their normal reflexes and we cannot let these guys buzz around Smitty.

Grab a lead and press the advantage every chance we get. Do NOT play down to this team… they have a better record than us and are planning to feast on our bones on their rise back to the top of the West.

Screen, screen, screen and dive bomb Semmy as much as possible. The guy is starting to focus on hockey again and he has been the main part of the AVs hot start. He isn’t all the way back from all his personal crap yet… don’t let him get his groove on.

Teams who have lost their main point producers are not toothless. Stasney is still dangerous and so are any one of  O’Reilly – MacKinnon – Landeskog – Parenteau. Respect the Yeti or pay the price. Limit the SOGs on Smitty, do NOT go back to your errant ways.

 

Game Day Preview Courtesy of NHL.com Brother Q at thenhlarena and me

Hungrier than ever… And crazy enough to kill something and eat it! Go Coyotes!

SAVE THE DATE – 12/7/2013 Bonsall Park

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SAVE THE DATE! Keep Hockey Growing in the Desert!

Recap – 21 Crazy Games in the Bag – Part I

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Okay I know I said report card was next but as some folks reminded me… I have been very, very remiss in dealing with the aftermath of the games… yeah I know, more than 15 games without a recap is a little more than remiss. So I will get this over in a 2 parter today and tomorrow THEN off to the report card on Tuesday. Ya’ll sure know how to guilt a girl.

 

GAME 1 – New York Rangers – 4 – 1 Yotes on top

The new era began with a bang. IceArizona owners took the ice before the puck drop to the furiously thankful roar from the crowd of faithful.

King Hendrick got shaken apart like a rag doll in the mouths of a pack of wild dogs. (Seriously appropo, that is what we played like that night, wild desert dogs.)

We scored first when Chipchura chipped in, then Staal, then it was all Coyotes. Our Verby got the hattie in front of the sell out crowd. It was Tippett hockey in full effect. Blazing defensive responsibility and counter attacking with a vengeance. I know I thought ‘holy Toledo, we’re back! It was a fantastic game and an even better celebration of the end of our trials on and off the ice. Finally!

 

GAME 2 – San Jose Sharks – 1 – 4 Yotes holding their big celebration hung over heads, wondering what happened

I remember vividly Hertling until we hurled that night. It was a straight tequila night. (I don’t start thinking of him and get ready to fight though. Yeah a little nod to country music there.) We got taken apart like a TV hurled out a 3rd floor window.

It was Hertl, then Hertl again. Our defense was all about watching Hertl’s moves. Smitty was all about saving his own life since he was basically facing the entire Shark’s team without help. (Yep the 50+ SOG thang first raised it’s ugly mug that night.) Then Pretty Patty decided to get in on the action with a goal as well.

3 unanswered goals until the blueline decided enough was enough and jumped into the action, since the offense was pretty much big celebration hung over from Thursday’s opener. Z to OEL to get the goose egg off our faces. The action ended with the Couture empty netter and we slunk off the ice with our tails between our legs and steam coming from Tippett’s ears.

 

GAME 3 – New York Islanders – 6 - 1 Yotes dazed, confused and on the floor humiliated

Led by a Captain barely out of Underoos, the Islanders ran over, around and through the Yotes like fatty meat through a puppy’s colon. It was messy and ugly and more than pride was hurt. Handing them 8 PP chances on top of already not even trying to play the game of hockey was beyond sad.

They chased Smitty out of the net. After the first 3 goals Brother Q and I were wondering how Greiss was feeling. After the 4th goal Q said Greiss was feeling like he wished he wasn’t about to be put in on a 5 goal deficit. Thankfully Hanzal tried to spark us back to life and removed that stinking zero from our side of the board but he just wasn’t that hot yet and the 1 goal was all we managed to score.

We didn’t slink out of Nassau Coliseum as much as we slid out from beneath the stench of one of our worst ever performances. All the faithful pointed out that we regularly started slow… ummm slow yes, not completely clueless, careless and corpse-like.

GAME 4 – Detroit Red Wings – 4 – 2 Yotes bounce like Tiggers all over Joe Louis Arena

Derek Morris was feeling decidedly frisky with a new/old stick and some serious bounce in his skates. He opened the scoring in the first period with a bomb that would be the only goal in the 1st period.

The the 2nd started what would become a very familiar style… come from behind hockey. The Ded scored twice before we could answer back with a Boedker special.

Tied 2 – 2 going into a rousing 3rd period that the Zombies tried their damnedest to get to Smith. The defense held fast and the offense went back to work with about 5 minutes left. First Stoner, then Vermie for one of the better showings of the season. We played some Tippett hockey and got rewarded.

 

GAME 5 – Philidephia Flyers – 2 – 1 Greiss debuts his solid cool

This one was nothing special except for the 2 points. It was Tippet hockey straight down the line. Low scoring, tightly defended, hang around, protect a lead until the final buzzer sounds.

DMo continued to lead the blueline parade to the scoreboard by getting the lone 1st period goal. He would be followed by OEL in the 2nd period.

Stoner could have made it 3 dmen scoring when he was awarded a penalty shot in the 1st but what D men expect that crap to happen? He did give it a good try. (Is there a rule that says you HAVE to take it to the goalie? Wish he could have nudged it forward a bit and just teed it up and shot it, that bomb of his just might have made it from there.) Talbot wiped the zero with his goal in the 2nd but we had what we needed and locked the game down tighter than Aunt Fanny’s least favorite girdle.

Left Philly with 2 more points in our pocket and a sense that things were coming together nicely… finally.

 

GAME 6 – Carolina Hurricanes – 5 – 3 Yotes put the Hammer down

1st period Boedy rocked the house, unfortunately he was followed by one of those Staals to tie it up. The rest of the 1st was a blur of penalties from both sides.

The 2nd was a blast from the ‘other’ Nash kid. Followed by a couple of wake up howls from Col Klink and the Korpedo. We had a 3 -1 lead even as the little Skinner kid tried to wake his team up with a goal of his own during the Verby penalty. It was quite the parade of Yoties headed to the box to feel shame (4 of the boys did the walk of shame in this period).

The 3rd was more of the same… a penalty parade yet again but with both sides lining the boxes. Col Klink opened the 3rd with a beauty of a goal and the Captain made Carolina pay for their part in the penalty parade with the insurance goal to finish the night.

It wasn’t pretty. There were 34PIMs in this one… ouch! Ah well considering the horrible start to this road swing… 2 more points was sure taking the sting out of the trip and we were headed home on a winning streak.

 

GAME 7 – Ottawa Senators - 3 - 4 Yotes begin era of over time crazieness on the losing end

1st period started with nothing much happening other than the boos for the little Turris boy. Hope his feelings were hurt like ours were when he rejected us. He holds a place of derision and malice right alongside that little Wheeler kid… probably for as long as they live, fans are tenacious that way.

2nd period action got underway with Col Klink once again being the bull in a china shop on his way to the net. He was quickly followed by Verby’s more balletic goal about a minute later. Who cares about pretty versus brute, they both worked and we had the lead. Does anyone else feel like Jason Spezza has been around forever? He got the Sens onboard with the first of what would eventually become a hattie.

Apprently Jason was the only Senator who found Mike Smith an easy toarget. He scored twice more in the 3rd for the hattie and the lead. Thankfully our power play was in residence and Ribz tied it back up to take it into OT.

Halfway through the OT some Conacher kid I’ve never heard of, slipped one past Smitty to end what was basically a pretty boring game to an abrupt end.

 

GAME 8 – Anaheim Ducks – 3 – 4 Yotes on the backend of the shootout

The Finnish Flash opened the scoring. You just never see this guy until it is too late. I guess it is true that age and cunning beat youth and exuberance. There was a brief mini- penalty parade from both sides but no more scoring.

Vermette tied it up early in the 2nd and the Ducks did the walk of shame 3 times, during which, our power play went to Disneyland. Thankfully our PK stuck around for the 4 minute penalty when Yands sliced Winnie’s head on a high sticking call.

Trusty Rusty broke the tie then Bonnino tied it back up. I HATE when that happens but such is the life of a Coyotes fan as we headed to OT.

OT was much ado about nothing. No penalties, no goals and no end in sight as we headed to the dreaded shootout.

It took 6 rounds for the Quackers to end us. We snaked a point out of one of the roughest teams in the league in their barn. They threw us around like a beach ball at a concert.  Smitty was NOT amused with this game… “We were scared to win. That is not how you finish off hockey games,” Smith said. “We were solid up until the third period, then we went out in the third and had six shots and let them come. When you give that team the chances that we gave them, sooner or later it’s going to get the back of the net.”

This Ducks team is definitely second on my most hated list. But I will take the point and be grateful we only lost Verby for a little while. Those bastages! That wicked PK earned my boy Z 3rd star of the game!

 

GAME 9 – Detroit Red Wings – 5 – 2 Yotes make history… or rather Smitty did

The first period felt like a repeat of the previous 2 games. First Datsyuk then the ever hated Bert-scuzzi scored.

At least this time we managed to answer back when the vastly under-rated Vermette got us on the board in the first minute of the second period. Smitty went to work, the defense went to work. No one scored the rest of the 2nd.

Then the offense went to work alongside the rest of the team and we scored 3 unanswered goals (Ribz, Marty, Ribz). Do you know how hard it is to best the DedThangs at their 3rd period specialty act? It was beautiful.

Since everyone else was scoring, Smith jumped on the bandwagon and into history as only the 11th goalie to score in an NHL game. A beautiful sliding empty netter that beat the buzzer ala Doan at 19:59.  Thank you hockey gods for Mike Smith.

 

GAME 10 – Calgary Flames – 4 – 2 Yotes have Ribz, Flames have a Big Mac… no contest

Mike Ribeirio is comfortable. That is not a good thing for the opposition. He has found his happy place and it is apparently a place where back to back multi-goal games lives.

Verby and the power play struck first in this one during the O’Brien holding penalty. Funky penalties abounded but no actual parade was held. Puck over glass seemed to be the PIM du jour (Thanks Joey MacDonald! for once Z was not the one hanging pucks out into the crowd unassisted!).

The game seemed stuck until Ribz went to work half way through the 2nd. Nice goal even though former Coyotes (and still one of my favorite guys) Lee Stemniak put the game back in reach with one of his own. Stemps is such an opportunistic little bugger.

The 3rd period started with no give up in the Calgary kids. Joe Colburn scored about 3 minutes in on a really sweet break away. Ribz was all, no way Jose and tallied his second of the night, cementing his visit to his happy place. The Col would hammer in the insurance goal and all was a beautiful night in the desert.

So 10 games in the books and 15 points out of 20 available wasn’t bad for the Desert Dawgs. No one ever sees us coming, slinking out of the night to take yer points when you are underestimating us. Coyotes are excellent at this in the wild as well.

Stay tuned for part II tomorrow.

Hungrier than ever… And crazy enough to kill something and eat it! Go Coyotes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAME 21 – Mighty Midget and Big Ben Hit Town with Lightning

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Puck Drop: 6:00 PM (Local Az Time)

Location: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Az

 

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Last 10: Tampa Bay 8-2-0; Phoenix 7-2-1

 secondary25x25.pngLIGHTNING (14-5-0) at :smallPHX: COYOTES (13-4-3)

 

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Phoenix Coyotes, who haven’t met since Jan. 21, 2012. The Lightning won that game, 4-3.

Big story: The Lightning, who begin a four-game road trip, exclusively against Pacific Division competition, look to stay perfect against the Western Conference. They are 7-0-0, including 5-0-0 on the road. “I have no idea. We put on equipment and go out there. … I don’t know why,” wing Martin St. Louis said about the undefeated mark. The Coyotes are 8-0-1 at home. (Humble man. The why is obvious, YOU Marty. Obviously Marty is driving the Lightning forward with his major work ethic and determination. Having Big Ben in your net is a 6’7″ plus too.)

Team scope:

secondary25x25.pngLightning: No Steven Stamkos? No problem. The Lightning have gone 2-0-0 in the star’s absence, as he recovers from surgery after breaking his right tibia. Their latest win came Thursday, a 5-1 thumping of the No. 1 team in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks.

Ben Bishop won his sixth game in a row and has been so impressive that only three teams (Ducks, Lightning and Colorado Avalanche) have more wins than his 13. (Big Ben isn’t just a clock in England. This HUGE goalie is seriously killing open net space. Gonna need some really, really mongo second chances to beat this monster.)

“He didn’t get any work, but when we needed him, he was there,” coach John Cooper said after Bishop turned aside 25 Anaheim shots.

 

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:smallPHX: Coyotes: Phoenix is coming off of a shootout loss, 5-4 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, in which they allowed a season-high 52 shots. Mike Smith made 48 saves. It was the third time this season the Coyotes have allowed 50 or more shots (they allowed 51 shots to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 5, and 50 shots to the Sharks on Nov 2).(Dear Hockey Gods, THAT shit has got to stop! Smith has faced more rubber than a Michelin test dummy. What happens when Smitty has an off night? What happens when we lose 2 defensemen in 1 game? We won’t be prepared to play tight enough to prevent a slaughter is what happens… trust me it can happen and wil happen when we need crucial points. Stop the 50 shot madness please!)

“The amount of time spent in our own zone really takes its toll on you, so that’s another reason there’s so many shots against [Smith],” said defenseman Michael Stone, who scored twice in the loss. “We’ve got to work on cutting that down and taking care of the puck a little better. I think it would’ve helped us out a lot if we would’ve spent a little more time in their zone in the third period.”

Phoenix plays its next three games at home against three of the top teams in the League. After the Lightning, the Coyotes host the Avalanche and Ducks.

 

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Who’s hot: Bishop is 6-0-0 in November with a 1.30 goals-against average and .956 save percentage. Valtteri Filppula has four goals and two assists in six games for the Lightning. … Coyotes forward Shane Doan has five goals in six games, and seven goals in eight games. (Can’t forget the Korpedo is heating up. The king of second swats has saved our bacon a couple of nights and of course Stoner playing large and in charge with his extra minutes ain’t no slouch and has been channeling DMo’s blue line bomb shot.)

Injury report: The Lightning come in with five players on injured reserve: Defensemen Mattias Ohlund (knee), Brian Lee(knee) and Keith Aulie (upper body) and forwards Tom Pyatt (collarbone) and Stamkos (broken tibia). Sami Salo has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury and is questionable. … The Coyotes are without defensemanDerek Morris, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) missed Thursday’s game. (We’re getting used to being without DMo and survived 2/3 of a game without Z but our game will get really ugly if we have to miss Z for too long. I had already started praying that if my boy has to be out for any length of time, the forwards will actually start doing their jobs in the neutral again. Thankfully it looks like Z may play tonight and DMo is getting closer according to Tippett.We’ve had some 50 SOG games… look forward to some 60+ SOG games without Z 4 defense.)

 

KEYS TO VICTORY:

Check down by your knees often, that mystery blur is probably St. Louis driving to your net. Stop him!

2nd period, stop gettin ghost. I MEAN it. Stay awake, stay hungry, stay mean. Forgetting to play for 10 – 15 minutes in a game with red-hot Filppula will end your home streak buckos.

Try to keep up in the shot column for once. I mean seriously, getting doubled up on every period is down right embarassing.

Oh WAIT! I know! Let’s try some consistency. Forechecking, back checking and shooting the damn puck consistently is what will win you a game in regulation.

 

Game Day Preview Courtesy of NHL.com Brother Q and me

 

DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR CANNED GOODS YOTIES!

FIVE HOLE FOR FOOD AND THE PHOENIX COYOTES AIM TO CHECK HUNGER THIS US THANKSGIVING

 

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Quarterly report card coming up on Sunday. Opinions and quotes from other writers and some uber fans on the first 20 games.

 

Hungrier than ever… And crazy enough to kill something and eat it! Go Coyotes!