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!