Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have been contemplating a few things that have come to my attention lately. These are things that I would love to discuss with Coyotes management, if I had the balls to talk to them. I may have to send another fan to do the dirty work. ;)

First off, I am a season ticket holder (further referred to as STH). You would think that I would get the best price on all tickets. Do I? No. There are some areas of the arena that if I want to sit there, I use my group sales rep because it is cheaper than the STH price. Why is this? Maybe I should go back to just buying group tickets. This is what I did my first year here but then I was mesmerized by all the "perks" STH get...

Which leads me to my next complaint...the perks seemed to have gone down hill every year since I have been here. I have also heard confirmed reports of this from STH who have been STH for quite some time (some for as long as the Coyotes have been here).

Last year we had a backstage pass, where after a game the STH would get to go downstairs and see the players come out. I liked it because I got to get autographs/photos of my coyotes and I also could see some of the other players from the NHL. This year the program has been changed so that only STH with more than one seat can go and you will only get to meet three randomly selected Coyotes players. I am going to end up meeting Jovo, Jokinen and Hale or some other player that I really don't care that much about or already have pic and an autograph. Rumor is the players didn't like the old way because they thought the fans were more excited to see the other teams players then to see them. Well, there were a couple of those but most people were there to see the Coyotes. I feel like this rumor may not be the whole truth.

Also, in years past the Coyotes have had meet and greets/player parties throughout the season at various places in the Valley. So far management has not mentioned player parties, not even dates. This is a good way for fans to interact with players (usually two players), get some autographs and win some prizes (sponsored by Bud Light). This would be a terrible thing to get rid of as the fans really enjoy it, it’s not just STH, and there always seems to be long lines. I have heard the players don't like it, but too bad. You get paid big bucks (some of it my hard earned money) so you can suck it up one time a year to meet some fans. You don't see them having a problem doing the golf thing...

Hopefully the coyotes will still do the game night with the coyotes, as it is a charity event. It seems like most of the guys have a good time with it, except JR because he was apparently too good for it.

Also, last year they gave out autographed jerseys and/or sticks to STH. This year we get a t-shirt. Yup, a t-shirt. And some people didn’t even get the postcard to “order” their t-shirt. Also in the past they have given out jerseys and plaques to mark Cujo’s wins (the plaque had a picture and a piece of the net). I know times are tough and they aren’t making any money but not making the effort to keep STH happy isn’t going to help.

Also last year the scratchers were much better than this year. Last year each scratch card would get you two free tickets to anywhere but the Toyota Club. This year you only win one free ticket. And they are all to games that were offered as “bonus nights” (will talk about this in the next paragraph). Also, I get one scratcher when I walk through the door. I saw (and know) some people who get a stack of scratchers. I asked my brother if he got one, and he said no. I told him he needs to get to the games earlier to get the scratchers because the people don’t follow their own rule of one per each guest. Also, the line to redeem them is a mile long (and they say on the ticket they have to be redeemed that night) so we were told the box office stays open an hour after the game. We decide to go put our names in at The Yardhouse and go back to redeem the tickets and the box office was closed. I am going to go on Monday and if they say I can’t redeem them, I will be calling and/or emailing my ticket rep. I am not going to miss the game waiting in line for a free ticket.

And lastly, I hate the bonus night. Last season we got vouchers to upgrade, which was really nice. It allowed those of us in the upper bowl to sit center ice or by the penalty box. It’s always nice to switch it up and see the game from another spot. This year there are no voucher upgrades. Instead we get bonus night. We got to pick three nights (from a pre-selected list) where we would get bonus tickets (you get one bonus ticket per seat on your account, so if you have two seats, you get two bonus tickets). Ok, nice thought. You can bring a friend or two to the game, introduce them to hockey right? Well problem is the bonus seats aren’t next to your seats. They said they would try to get them as close as possible. Well mine are a row back and a couple of seats over. I know people who aren’t even going to use their bonus tickets because they aren’t next to their seats.

Maybe the Coyotes need to actually listen to their fans. It might help and it definitely couldn’t hurt. I know you can’t please everyone but every issue I have brought up here seems to be the complaints of many. These reasons are really making me think about next season. With the economy as it is, I really need to think about where I am spending my money. Being able to see every home game is awesome, but I need to think about if this where I put a big chunk of my budget. This has nothing to do with the players, I will always be a fan of this team. But maybe I just need to watch from home and go to the games that aren't broadcast or maybe a partial/min plan would be better. I have a lot of time to think on this.

Sharks at Coyotes

Let me just start off by saying OMG Gretzky, pull your head out of your ass and be a coach. Don’t coach based on your “man crushes”. UGH

Basically Gretzky said that Telly would get the start (they even changed the article to take out where he said Telly would start). You know, the whole you get to play if your hot thing but what does he do? He starts Bryz. And our offense does a great job of kicking off the game with two goals. So the Coyotes are quickly up 2-0 and the Sharks take two shots on goal, and score. On both. Within about a minute of each other. OMG. But I do have to say, Gretzky was at least smart enough to pull Bryz at this point. In the past he has just kept him in.

This would have been a totally different game had Gretzky started Telly. It may have went the other way and the Coyotes could have ended up with a 2-1 win instead of a 3-2 loss. Telly has just been outstanding. So who gets the start against the Kings on Tuesday? Do we try Bryz again? Do we put Telly in? To me, this Kings game is crucial. The Sharks are the best team in the league and we hung in. The Kings are another story. I said at the end of last year the Kings would be the team to watch out for and it looks like I may be right.
But I digress…back to the Sharks game.

Best Part of the Game: Carcillo rocking JR into the bench. AMAZING.

Best Goal: KT getting his second goal of the season after a 19 game goalless streak. Let’s hope this gives him the extra boost he needs. He has been really battling and playing hard the last few games, now let the goals come.

Players who seemed off: Doan and Sauer. Neither of them played like they normally do, but they weren’t horrid. Just off.

Boneheaded move of the game: Jovo taking a stupid penalty after about 2 minutes of a 4 minute penalty to Joe Thornton. So, why are we playing Jovo so much on the PP? He makes bone headed mistakes, he gets caught not moving, he turns the puck over. Come on Jovo, you are being paid over 6 million per season, play like it. And Gretz? I know you can’t bench him, but don’t play him on the PP if he’s sucking. Don’t give him the ice time. Send him a message. Maybe send him a message in practice too because you know, if you practice lazy, you play lazy.

Best Dmen: Dmo (another goal) and Z. I don’t think I need to elaborate on Z. AMAZING.

Hockey Milestone of the Night: Rhino playing his 500th game. Congrats Rhino! He also played a great game. He was trying and battling through Sharks but like I said, Doan was just off last night and Rhino was trying to get something going but couldn’t.

Surprising Moment of the Night: Hanzal and Thornton going at each other. Hanzal has developed quite the mean streak.
Second Most Surprising Moment: Bods getting in the face of some dude at least 2-3 inches taller than him.

Rookie Mistake of the Game: Bods hesitating to shoot. He looked like he forgot how to. He stuttered so much by the time he did shoot the lane was clogged.

Underrated Dman (besides Z): Klee. He seems to have really made a difference in Yandle’s play.

Areas we need to work on: Winning face-offs, especially crucial ones.
Power Play, we can’t control the puck on the PP and spend most of the time in our own zone or at center ice.
Shooting. The last two games our SOG have been pathetic. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. What is it that Gretz said…You miss 100% of the shots you never take, meaning SHOOT MORE.

Player that was not missed: Jokinen. Would he have made any difference? Probably not. He didn’t show up for the last how many games we’ve played before he was injured. I think the last game he was really fully there for was when we played the Panthers.

And as an after thought, I like the colors and style/design of the new jersey but I cannot get past the logo. I do not like the leaping “coyote” (I use that word loosely as it looks more like a fox to me or a ferret according to the Coyotes Skate Coach). They could have done something so much more.

Up next we have the Kings on Tuesday. Like I said, team to watch. This may be a battle for us but I know the guys can do it.

Thursday the Maple Leafs come to town. I am not sure how this game will go. Toronto is currently in 10th place in the East. They have played the same amount of games (23) and have the same amount of points (22) as the Coyotes. They also play the Kings on Monday, Sharks on Tuesday and Coyotes on Thursday. This game could go either way.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coyotes 2, Avalance 1

Oh what a game! I have to say, I love Telly in net. I even started a chant and had everyone around me doing it. The old guys next to us loved it. They even got in on it. After a great save we’d just go Tell-E, Tell-E. It was fantastic. He got the first star of the game and totally deserved it.

Dmo started it off with a goal early in the first. For being out with an injury, he came back with a bang.

It seems our guys play better in front of Telly. All of our dmen seem to really step up ther game.

We really need to work on the face-offs. It is a little sad how pathetic we are in this department.

Again, people are freaking out over Jokinen’s injury. They are saying we just got lucky there last two games and happened to have a hot goalie. I don’t think it’s luck but we will see what happens tonight when we take on the San Jose Sharks.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jokinen out 2-4 weeks

Jokinen will miss 2-4 weeks due to the injury he received during the Columbus game.

The comments I have been reading are funny. Everyone is freaking out about it. He left the game half way through, and we won. We can win without him. Actually, I think we played better without him in that second half.

I for one am not worried about this injury. As long as the boys play their game (hit hard, skate fast) they will be ok.

it just made me laugh to read the comments basically saying it's the end of the road because Jokinen is out. We didn't win the last 6 games with him in and the game he leaves, we win. Maybe he is the problem?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This needed it's own post....

Phoenix Coyotes (8-9-2)They need a wake-up call. The best way to deliver it: bench Ed Jovanovski. A veteran -- one wearing the A, no less -- on a young, struggling team, he has to make an impact. Instead, he's a major liability in his own zone, caught too often standing still or simply out of position. Of the 697 players who have skated this season, just five have a plus-minus rating more dismal than Ed's minus 10. It's often an overplayed stat, but here it tells the story.*

DAMN, what have I been saying all year? That's what I thought. I love being proved right. Take that bitches trying to tell me Jovo is doing just fine. He is continuing his stupidity from last season but he is not getting the goals and assists to (somewhat) make up for it. Ok, I am done gloating now. I love being right. :)

*stolen from

Really Quick Game Post

Coyotes at Columbus
A big congrats needs to go out to David Hale. He got his first ever NHL goal last night after a streak of 231 goalless games (that‘s 5 seasons of no goals). It also was the game tying goal. Way to go Hale!

Carcillo got his second goal of the year and also had a great fight. It was long and there were some hard punches exchanges.

Tiki got the game winner for his second goal of the season also. It came with about 2 minutes left. I was never happier for a goal. I did not want to give Columbus a point.
Telly played outstanding. He definitely needs to get more starts.

Jokinen left the game after a hit and didn’t return to the ice. At this time it is unknown how long he will be out with an upper body injury. We are having a rash of injuries, Dmo, Winnik and now Jokinen. Hopefully Dmo and Winnik will be back in the lineup soon.

Gretzky kept the lines together, for the most part. Obviously he had to make some adjustments when Jokinen left the game, forcing Lisin to play center.

I think that is all I got for now. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I will be back this weekend as the Coyotes take on the Avs (Friday) and the Sharks (Saturday), both at home.

(I told you it was quick - I didn't take notes, just enjoyed the game)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coyotes at Rangers

Another lunch time post from me! Enjoy the spelling and grammar mistakes. :)

Last night the Coyote faithful were feeling pretty good about the game. Our boys hadn't been playing their best, but they certainly weren't playing their worse. They have done really well against the teams they should have lost to, so everyone was feeling pretty good about the Rangers game. We were wrong.

And it isn't as if the boys played horrible. They had a great first period but somewhere in the middle of the second they fell apart.

Some observations before we get into the game info. I was listening to the radio on the way home and Tyson had said he spoke with Carcillo and Carcillo told him he planned to get into three fights this game. If only he had done that. It may have been the boost we needed later in the game. Also, Mueller was wearing the A in DMo's place. I have to wonder why Mueller would get the A. Is this a way to motivate him? He hasn't been playing his best. He has stopped moving his feet for the most part. Is this from all the muscle he put on? Is he feeling the pressure to perform after a fairly stellar rookie year? It could be that he just needs some kind of motivation, like this responsibility, to kick him in gear. I am not a fan of rewarding poor play, but maybe he has shown some good leadership in the lockerroom and Gretz was hoping this would kick start his play. Bryz was awarded the start even though he has only played NYR once and lost but I guess that could have been the fault of the Ducks players also. I am not really sure, but it is never encouraging to hear your goalie has a losing record with a team, albeit one game.

Ok, the bulk of my entry will focus on the first period, as the boys rocked it. Carcillo did get one ofhis promised fights in agains Dubinsky. Dubinsky was a little upset with how hard Carcillo was driving to the net and they decided to go. Carcillo got in some really good hits before Bubinsky turtled and Carcillo just kind of gave up. It can't be much fun to fight a guy who just kind of drops to his knees after 3-4 good punches.

One of the better lines was Carcillo-Jokinen-Lisin. Jokinen was very visable and having a great first period. Those three seemed to really have some good scoring chances... if only the Rangers didn't have Henrik. I hope Gretzky keeps this line together. It seems to have a lot of potential. Lisin and Carcillo had some chemistry at the end of last season. Carcillo and Jokinen seemed to have some last night. Please Wayne....KEEP THIS LINE TOGETHER.

The other line that really stood out was Fridge-Turris-Tiki. Fridge was playing up in the slot while Turris and Tiki were really working the front of the net (thank you) and digging in the corners. Both seemed to be holding their own fairly well (Tiki better than Turris). Forcing them to play with the big boys in the corner just might be what Turris needs. Does he still get pushed a bit? Yes but at least he is seeing how strong he needs to be on the puck in the NHL. I think he is still adjusting, but he is getting there.

Carcillo and Fridge really seemed to be handing out the hits last night. And of course, Z was taking them. He will take a hit to make a play. He blocks shots like crazy (he is the league leader in blocked shots). Z really should be voted a star in every game. He does his job well, quietly, and efficiently. He doesn't stand out like some players do (Carcillo, Doan, Boedker) but he deserves much more recognition than he gets.

The Coyotes really seemed to out play the Rangers in the first. They were controlling the puck and out shooting them. They ended the period with 16 SOG (although later MSG changed it to 15 and Pang made the comment that 16 SOG would be a season high for Lundqvist...hrmm I will leave that up to you to decide why it was changed...). Lisin also scored the first goal, assisted by Jokinen and Klee. Unfortunately we ended the first tied 1-1 when Betts scored for the Rangers.

The second and third periods were not that pretty for the Coyotes. They weren't horrid but they weren't anything like the first.

Bryz started to look a little rusty/stiff in the second and that is always a bad sign.

The refs also seemed to change after the first period. There were no calls in the first. They just let the guys play. The first penalty was called on Klee because Sjo's stick broke. It was definitely not slashing but the refs always call that when it involves a broken stick. Sjo's stick could have just been weak. I hate that call, seriosuly just because the stick broke, doesn't mean it was a penalty. Later in the third, Carcillo took a high stick to the face (very obvious) but there was no call yet Lisin and Klee get penalties for stupid stuff. Lisin got sent to the box for just truing to get his stick out from between two players. That was considered a hooking call. There have been way too many hooking calls so far this season. It's absolutely crazy. If I think about it, I may do a seperate entry on this. Also, the refs waited for ever to whistle a play dead. Bryz had the puck stopped and it was no where to be seen on the ice yet the refs let play continue for like 10 seconds. It was sad.

But the good news is the PK seems to have improved. Pang mentioned that the coyotes have been reviewing video to see what they need to do to get a better PK. It seems to have worked. They were able to really control the puck. They had real good control, they were even in the Rangers zone for awhile but then it was forced out and Hale gets the puck and just dumps it in, even though they could have kept control. I guess that is a doh! moment. :)

Now where they really need the videos and improvement is the PP. The Coyotes let the other team control the puck much to often on the PP. But one positive point, Rhino was down batteling in front of the net. We need more of that! Imagine what could happen if we could get the puck to the net, rebound goals. It doesn't have to be pretty; it just needs to go in.

The scoring in the second and third was all Rangers. Dubinsky started it off, which was actually a combo of Bryz and Jovo. Bryz didn't know where the puck was, so it was going under his leg. jovo tried to clear it out, but he accidently tapped it backwards into the net instead. Girardi got one in off the post and Gomez got the empty netter to finish the game.

Jovo was hit by the puck late in the third. No one really knew where it hit him, but it seemed to be the midsection. He doubled over and slowly skated over to the bench. With DMo out, we can't afford to lose Jovo too. Who would take his ice time? He may not be the best player out there, but we don't really have another guy who could step in and cover his minutes while DMo is out too.

Speaking of DMo, he is hoping to play in Columbus Wednesday. He is battling a few different injuries (ankle, upper body). Columbus might be to early depending on the conditioning for his upper body injury. In speaking with Todd Walsh, he was asked about doing the interviews with Todd and DMo stated he was too ugly for it. This made me crack up because obviously DMo is much better looking than Todd Walsh. And DMo had a grin on his face as he said it. I think he knows he is better looking than Todd also. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Flyers Win in OT. Bad Coaching to Blame for Coyotes Play?

The defense really let the Coyotes down last night. 3 of the Flyers 4 goals were a direct result of Dmen being out of position. Surprisingly one of them was Sauer. He is usually spot on. I think part of the problem is that Dmo is out. Whenever he is out, the D seem to struggle. The other goal was just a bad bounce off a player (it looked like it went off one of our guys legs). Telly was perfectly positioned for the puck but the redirct was something he couldn’t have seen coming. Telly played a great game. I hope they keep him in against the Rangers. Let Bryz know he can’t just have the job, he needs to earn it.

The highlight of the game was Carcillo finally got his first goal of the season. And it was a beauty. He dumped it in and Hanzal went after it behind the net, and so did Biron. Hanzal was able to get the puck to Carcillo who had an open net. Biron could not get back in position fast enough. The look on Carcillo’s face was priceless.

Hanzal also had a pretty goal in the second. Then Fridge had one in the third to put us up 3-2. Unfortunately the boys couldn’t hold on to the lead and the Flyers tied it up, forcing OT. We even went into OT with a man advantage but couldn’t convert.

Which brings me to another point, the Power Play. Our PP looks more like a PK far too often. We let the other team control the puck too much. I am starting to doubt the coaching staff. They seemed to have regressed. Last year the coaching staff seemed to be improving but it looks as if they have taken a large step back. We have a very talented group of guys out there on the ice, why can’t they win or even play more consistently? I have decided it has to be a coaching issue because mostly I cannot come up with another reason why a team with this much talent can’t play.

They dump and chase when they should carry it in. They carry it in when they should dump and chase. They pass when they have open scoring lanes. They shoot when the lanes are blocked (mostly shooting into the player 2 feet in front of them, causing it to bounce off and that player getting a break-away). They change lines far too often and far too slowly. The D has been looking horrible the last couple of games, the forwards can’t score. They look disconnected with each other on the ice. They aren’t communicating well. They look more like individuals on the ice, not a unit. I believe that is a direct result of bad coaching.

Also, I think Gretz and Maloney need to get over their man-crushes. If Jovo isn’t playing well, sit him. If Mueller isn’t playing well, sit him. If Bryz is looking bad, pull him or sit him the next game. They keep saying you have to work hard and show you want it, or you sit. Well Mueller looks like he could care less if he’s playing or not and Jovo doesn’t even try to correct his mistakes anymore (at least when Yandle realizes he messed up, he makes the effort to fix it). Sit those guys. They act like they don’t want to be there, so don’t put them in for a game or two. Send them awake up call. Put McGrattan in. Yes, he doesn’t skate well and he is not the best player, but he gives it his all when he gets to play. He also gives it his all in practice too. He wants it. He is hungry for it. So use him to send a message.

Those are my reasons for thinking it is more of a coaching problem then the players. I am now off the Gretzky bandwagon. I was all for giving the guy a chance, but he’s had enough of a chance and the fans deserve to see a great product. We pay them with our hard earned money and I don’t want to see a half ass job out there. This, along with another entry I am currently working on, are reasons I may not renew my tickets next year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday Night Fun Times with Hockey!

Last night was bitter sweet. I went to Cooperstown after work (had horrible service btw) to watch the first two periods of the Coyotes game. Carolina quickly went up 2-0 but the Coyotes were able to fight back and tie it up. Unfortunately Bryz did not play his best game. He looked slow and wasn’t quick to respond. He could have easily stopped some of those goals. I will blame the D when they deserve it, but this was all Bryz. He was looking sloppy at the end of the Blackhawks game (that shoot out was bad) and they should have rested him and played Telly. If Telly doesn’t play tonight, I am going to really wonder what Gretzky is thinking (or is he not thinking..?).

Staal got the hat trick and the Hurricanes ended up winning 5-2. We need to get our forwards to start scoring. Carcillo is trying. He is shooting that puck but he just can’t get it to go in the net. It will come, he just needs to relax. I don’t have too much more to say about the Coyotes game. They certainly didn’t play their best but it wasn’t their worst effort either. I still can’t believe Bryz was in.

Tonight the Coyotes take on the Flyers (yah, I still have a special place in my heart for that team). I hope they put Telly in, especially after that performance from Bryz. The flyers haven’t been doing that well this season and dirty Danny is still out (at least from what I saw last night during the game). I am not going to say this should be an easy win, because that means we will lose. I just hope the boys skate fast, hit hard and score some goals.

Last night I also went to the roadrunners game. It wasn’t looking so good to start. We got a new goalie from the AHL, Kyle Jones, who was awful. He let in 4 goals in the first period. Luckily the coaches were smart enough to pull him and play Goalie! in the second and third. This gave the guys a chance to come back, which they quickly did.

The roadrunners finally pulled ahead making it 6-5 with about 1 minute to go. It looked like they were going to win it but somehow the Condors found the back of the net, tying the game.

We went to OT and it was looking like a shoot out was going to happen but new Dman Dane Crowley scored with about 5 seconds left! This was an awesome game and made me forget about the Coyotes lost. I am so glad I went to this. There were some big hits and the refs really seemed to let the guys play. There were times when there should have been calls, but what can you do (besides the Hey Ref! You Suck! Cheer).

I must say, I did not like the Condors uniforms. On their numbers, they had Carl’s Jr. stars. It looked absolutely ridiculous. Well, they are part of the Anaheim Ducks/Iowa Chops family…that might explain some of it. :P

And finally, a picture of Goalie! So you can all see how he wears his socks. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'hawks win in Shoot-Out but really, they suck

Welcome to another edition of Lunch Time with Hipchecks, as I know you all appreciate and enjoy these not perfectly edited editions of my blog (ok, they are never perfectly edited but I normally use word to help me watch for typos and what not).

Last night the 'hawks tried to invade the job with their cheap plays and dirty hits (the refs weren't much better but I digress..). The Coyotes were having none of that and both McGrattan and Carcillo tried to throw down without much luck. If you are going to act tough, then you need to step up when asked to go. I have now officially added the 'hawks to teams I dislike (joining greats such as Ducks, Red Wings and Penguins).

McGrattan tried to get something started early but the 'hawk player wasn't having none of it. McGrattan was asking and shoving and the dude just climbs onto his bench. Carcillo was later yapping at another 'hawks player and asks if he wants to go. Carcillo is about ready to drop the gloves, he is just waiting on the 'hawks player who apparently can't make up his mind so then the linesmen skates over and puts a stop to it. Those guys must have known they didn't have a chance. But if you are going to act like a dick, you better be able to back it up.

The surprises of the night was the Hanzal/Toews fight and the Jokinen/Frasher fight. Hanzal definitely won that fight. It didn't look like Toews got any punches. Jokinen's fight was more like a wrestling match with Jokinen being the one that gets the take down. Also, right as this fight started, the 'hawks wanted a goal because they thought Bryz let the puck by, but he didn't you shoved Bryz and puck into the net, then you knocked the net off.

There was a lot of diving by the 'hawks. They'd barely get hit and they'd fall to the ice like it was the end of the world. And the refs kept falling for it and whistling play dead. Yet when Jovo goes down, they ignore it and the Coyotes had control of the puck (and seemed to be waiting for the whistle). Since there was no whistle, the 'hawks are able to score.

McGrattan got a 10 minute misconduct at the end of the second. I am not sure what happened there. Someone said it was because he was yapping at the 'hawks bench, the official asked him to stop (or escorted him to the bench) and he just kept going. I am not sure if that is true, none of the articles I've read have said what it was for.

It was Shane Doan's 900th career game and he was the man with the PP goal that tied the game. Z got us on the board first when we were down 2-0. Carcillo still hasn't found his scoring touch. I have to say, I am proud of the way the Coyotes played (killing off a stupid Jovo penalty in OT was awesome) and they deserved that point (even though I still don't believe in the whole point for a loss thing).

As far as the shoot-out, we can blame those two goals on Bryz. That was all him, no defense out there to help you buddy. I want to look up his record against Chicago, because I feel like he has yet to win a game against them since coming to Phoenix. Speaking of Bryz, he started to make me really nervous in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Seriously, let's play Telly next game.

Turris and Mueller were the first two shooters. I would love to ask Gretzky who his third choice was and why he picked those two to go first. Was Doan or Jokinen going to be the clutch player? Was Turris picked to help boost his confidence? Was Mueller picked because he was the best last season (with Vrbata) but still was only at about 50%? I didn't get a good look at Turris' shot (the guy in front of me was tall, broad shouldered and had a big head and it was hard to see around him) but he is usually pretty good at lifting the puck and going top shelf, and I don't think he did that last night. Note to Gretz: work on a shoot out drill k? K.

Coming up: Friday is Coyotes at Carolina. I will only see part of it as we are heading out to the RoadRunenrs game.
Saturday we take on Philadelphia and during the broadcast the Coyotes will reveal their new 3rd jersey. Until then, enjoy the hipchecks and hockey we are all so lucky to have. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dallas 3, Coyotes 2

Last night the job made sure to welcome Avery with open arms… or something like that. There were plenty of signs around the arena that we got a good laugh out of. One of my friends had a sign that said “Avery is a” and then had a purple pansy with his head at the center. She went down to warm ups with it and Avery called her a fat fucking bitch. Way to stay classy Avery. Avery got a couple of penalties and I have never heard a crowd cheer so loud; it was great. That’s what you get for calling our Captain over-rated in every interview you have. Seriously, do you have a crush on Doan or what?

Ott also received a warm welcome from Carcillo. The first time, the refs wouldn’t let them go and just gave them 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. I still think Barch should have gotten a penalty also, as he tried to get in on the fight making it two on one. Almost as soon as those two got out of the box, they went after each other. The highlight of the fight was when Ott stuck his tongue out at the cameraman and Carcillo gets his arm free and just hauls off and punches him. As the fight was at the end of the period, the boys went straight to the locker room. When they came back, I couldn’t concentrate on the game because they were still jawing at each other. After awhile, it looked like Carcillo was just laughing.

Even though Carcillo didn’t get a goal, he played a good game. He was energized and hitting every star player he could. He was still favoring his right leg. In warm ups, he kept picking it up. He was always pushing off with his left foot and he kept doing this hop move to get going fast. I think his knee may be bothering him.

Jokinen again took a stupid penalty right off the bat and then disappeared for the first and second periods. He decided to make an appearance in the third. He was too busy doing fancy moves to score though. Seriously, I don’t care how prettily you can skate; I want you to put the puck in the net.

Two things that we need to work on: consistency and face-offs. We could (and should) have beaten the stars. They were not playing well but neither were we. We were going in streaks. We’d have a good five minutes or so where everyone was trying, the energy was up and we were doing good things and then we’d back off not play all out for about ten minutes or so. As for the face-offs, we need to find someone who can either do a good face off or find someone who can teach our guys to win. At key moments, we would lose the face-offs, making it harder to control the puck. We won maybe 3 face-offs all night.

Bryz actually had another good night. Yes, he let in three goals, but those can be blamed on the D letting him down. Our D probably sucked the most out of all the guys out there. It’s a sad day when Yandle is probably your best dman out there.

Oh yes, we need to work on communication. Passes were all over the place and guys were running into each other. Overall, not our best game and we definitely deserved to lose that one.

Scratches were Daniel Winnik, Brian McGrattan, and David Hale. Winnik and McGrattan were definitely missed. I want to see McGrattan in the lineup. Put him in against Chicago on Tuesday. That is definitely a game we can't afford to lose.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Coyotes at Minnesota

Wow, what happened to the Coyotes of the last few games? For whatever reason, the Coyotes cannot beat the Wild and they continued that streak last night. The scratches for the Coyotes were McGrattan, Carcillo and Hale, same as Wednesday night. Boogaard was in the line-up so it would have been a good game to play McGrattan. I am hoping that McGrattan gets to play against Dallas on Saturday. He can go up against the likes of Ott and Avery (like Avery would ever fight anyone).

Carcillo may be having problems with an injury. It was mentioned Tuesday that he had a nagging injury and tonight they mentioned him being banged up. I am wondering if it has to anything with the way he has been skating lately. He seems to be favoring his right leg/foot.

Bryz was in net again tonight. He actually looked good. He has played quite a few games in a row. I am waiting for the melt down again. I know he’s been doing well lately but he hasn’t earned my trust yet. I need to see that he can maintain this play over the entire season.

The game doesn’t start off well as Jokinen heads to the box early in the game. Fortunately the boys were able to kill this penalty off. Don’t look for Jokinen in the rest of the game because after this penalty he completely disappeared. Where was Jokinen this game? When he does show up he scores a couple goals, gets a few assists but when he’s gone, he leaves his teammates out to dry. He may look like a PPG player, but really he gets 2-3 points in one game then he leaves his teammates to do all the work for a couple games. I am still not sold on him. As he becomes a FA at the end of the season, I expect him to either be signed or traded at the deadline. Maloney isn’t going to want to see a player just walk at the end of the year if he can help it.

Ok, back to the game…Clutterbuck had a huge hit on DMo and DMo was none too pleased about it. DMo did not see Clutterbuck coming. I am also going to add that this is a guy I would want on my team. I love guys that will hit anyone and everyone (Orpik is another example). He is definitely one to keep an eye on (thanks to Ms Conduct for going on and on and on about him. I totally have a man-crush on him now. You better keep writing about him!).

The Coyotes get on the PP and what a miserable PP it was. Are you sure we weren’t on the PK? The Coyotes got one shot on goal and struggled to keep it in the zone. They could not keep possession of the puck. The Coyotes get another chance to go on the PP when Clutterbuck heads to the box but again, they just could not control the puck. Doan made a nice hit to keep the play alive and keep the puck in the zone. You just got to love Shane Doan. He is having a monster of a season. I will say that is the good thing about Jokinen coming here, he has taken the attention away from Doan. Teams pay closer attention to stopping Jokinen, leaving Doan room to shoot and score.

At the end of the first, it is tied at 0. It was a little surprising as we could not pass nor control the puck.

Early in the second the Coyotes end up trying to kill off a 5 on 3. Minnesota is able to score from the point thanks to Zidlicky (nice pick up on MN part, I always liked him in Nashville).

DMo is still angry about the Clutterbuck hit and he goes after him a bit in the second. He doesn’t do anything that would get him a penalty but he is definitely trying to send a message to Clutterbuck. I don’t think DMo has dropped the gloves yet this season, and Clutterbuck was lucky he didn’t this game. When DMo is angry, watch out!

The Coyotes go on another PP. This time they have a little better puck control and put it on net more than in the first but it’s not enough to get it past Backstrom. However, when they go on the PK a short time later (DMo in the box), Minnesota scores again. So far, both the Minnesota goals have come on the PP yet, do the coyotes learn from that? No.

We end the second 2-0, Minnesota.

Going into the third, I was still quite optimistic that the Coyotes could come back. They were only down two goals. I thought this is the period. We are going to come out energized and ready to go. We are going to control the puck and just fire away at Backstrom. Well, it didn’t quite happen that way.

Yandle ends up fighting Clutterbuck. I have to give Yandle credit; he stood up for his teammates and tried to get the team going. He got a few good punches in early in the fight but Clutterbuck was able to get him into a position where he couldn’t really throw any and thus gave Clutterbuck the opportunity to throw some great punches. Clutterbuck was lucky Carcillo wasn’t in the game, because if given the ok, Carcillo would have taken him down. But I digress, congrats to Yandle for his first NHL fight. Keep it up and you may when over all your naysayers (hey, he’s slowly winning me over).

Jovo ends up taking a stupid penalty while the Coyotes are already on the PK. So we have another 5 on 3 in Minnesota’s favor and of course, they score, making it 3-0.

Minnesota scores once more on a PP making the final score 4-0. I guess I can take solace in the fact that all of the goals came on the PP. We were able to hold them off at even strength but could not get enough control of the puck to really do anything in their zone. It’s really not that comforting though; it just means our PK sucked this game. We had been doing pretty well on the PK, what changed? What is it about Minnesota that we just can’t seem to beat them? I believe this is the 10th game in a row we have lost to Minnesota. Wow, that is just pathetic.

So tonight Sean Avery and Steve Ott roll into town along with the rest of the Dallas Stars. Carcillo is expected to be back in the line-up, so hopefully Avery fears for his life on the ice. I still hope they play McGrattan. I miss the big guy out on the ice. I am not sure who will be scratched tonight. Gretzky is just going to have to rotate which forwards he scratches unless someone really messes up because none of them are playing that badly/messing up. I say on D we continue to scratch Hale. I know Jovo won’t ever be scratched, so Hale it is, as Yandle isn’t doing so badly right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Call to San Antonio Rampage Fans

Ok, after much googling, I have come to the conclusion that the Rampage must not have a lot of fans. Or they don’t have very many passionate fans. Or their fans are just to busy to blog about hockey. I have looked for blogs written by fans over my lunch hour and a half and all I could find was a couple of blogs that haven’t been updated since 2007. Now I know people are busy, but I can’t believe how difficult it is to find one up-to-date fan blog for the Rampage. I know the Aeros have a couple (I am a reader of a couple of them and I came across a lot of stuff for them when searching for Rampage).

I did find two blogs that are up to date. One is from the Rampage radio announcer:
It is cute but hasn’t been updated since he spilled hot chocolate on Matt Jones on the plane. I will definitely blog roll it since it may provide some good information once he puts up a new entry.

I also found the blog for what appears to be the city of San Antonio:
His latest blog entry made me realize the Coyotes were not the only team to come up with a stupid marketing phrase. The Coyotes have Be Coyote Cool, while the Rampage gets We Will Rampage. Wow. I wonder if they brainstormed those together... This will also be added to my blog roll. The writer seems very knowledgeable of the team.

It seems I have not been following the Rampage at all. As it turns out, the Rampage has only won 2 of their 13 games. What is going on down there? Is it a coaching issue, defensive/offensive/goaltending issue? Looks like I have some research to do. I am also going to continue to look for Rampage blogs. They have to be out there somewhere!

And if anyone out there has (or comes across) an updated Rampage fan blog please share with me.

And look for an entry on the Coyotes at Minnesota game from last night. I started it last night, but did not have the heart to finish it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coyotes 4 Blue Jackets 2

Please stay tuned for a Rampage update. I have a guest blogger who will be answering some questions that we fans put together.

As for tonight’s game, the Coyotes beat the Blue jackets 4-2. As this was a radio only broadcast (and I don’t have Center Ice), I wasn’t able to see it. I did hear bits and pieces of the game. I listened on the way to the gym and the Coyotes were up 2-0. I listened on the way home and Porter and Doan scored, making it 4-0.

Somehow, from the time I got out of the car, went to get the mail, and got the game going on the computer, it was 4-2. I am still not sure how the blue jackets got those goals. No one would tell me. I think Jovo was going to the box when I got out of the car. So maybe a PP goal?

However, when I finally got the radio broadcast going at home, Hanzal got his first goal of the season to make it 5-2 with about 20 seconds left. It was an empty netter, but still, he got his goal! Way to go Hanzal.

It sounded like Yandle was having a good game. He may have been credited with one of the goals. From what the broadcasters said, Turris passed the puck to Yandle who put the puck on net. He either put it in, or Rhino tipped it in. I never did hear if the goal ended up credited to Rhino. This is why I hate radio broadcasts, I like to actually see for myself what happened. One of these years, I may have to invest in Center Ice, but it is so much money just to watch a couple of yotes games.

Scratches were Carcillo, McGrattan and Hale. Apparently Carcillo was scratched because of the stick he took to the face in Sunday night’s game (although, he was at practice on Tuesday and looked fine to me). I really would like to see McGrattan get another game but being up against Minnesota, I don’t see that for tomorrow but maybe Saturday. Hale, well he can just stay a scratch. Yandle seems to be doing much better after his benching.

Bryz was in goal tonight. I can’t assess his performance but it sounded like he didn’t do too badly. Maybe he has finally figured out how to be a starting goalie.

All Star voting starts today. The coyotes have three players on the ballot, Bryz, Jokinen and Doan. I will be voting for Doan as much as I can remember. He deserves it. He deserved it last year but Jovo got sent instead (thank god he’s not on the ballot). I am not sure that Bryz is an NHL all star goalie. There are so many other goalies out there that are much better and much more consistent. And I am still not sold on Jokinen and figure he will get it just purely because of his name.

On a side note, this morning Yandle was second for DMen for the all star game. How does that happen? Does he have an exceptionally large family and they all got on and voted multiple times? Anyway, kudos to whoever got Yandle to the top of that list, I never would have saw that coming!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

not my best effort..

This past Saturday, the Florida Panthers rolled into town bringing two former Coyotes with them. Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton made their first trip as Panthers to the job and both played a solid game against their former team. Unfortunately it was not enough as the Panthers continued their losing streak. Final score: 4-1.

Ballard was having a grand old time. He was riding Bods like a pony the whole night. He also made some hits on Doan and Carcillo but left Rhino alone. On one of the faceoffs, him and Rhino were having a friendly conversation. Carcillo also gave Ballard a playful hipcheck when they were both on the way to their benches. Ballard also had some fun playing goalie. I loved seeing him get in there and play goalie. I was deprived of the hipcheck. :)

Boynton got a penalty and he looked so sad to be in the box. I think he misses being in Phoenix. He was actually paired with Ballard and they were awesome together. Actually, the Panthers have some really good dmen, they just couldn’t get the offense going (and that could be because they traded their best offensive players for more D when they have like 20 guys listed as D on their roster).

I did notice that Jovo doesn’t seem to play as hard or smart when he is paired with Z. It is like he knows Z will cover his ass and so he slacks off.

On Sunday, the Sharks came to town and it looked like we were going to lose as Carcillo got two penalties early (the second was complete crap) and we got down 2-0. But we were able to battle back and win 4-2. The second penalty was closing the hand type deal and a shark player did it about 30 seconds later and nothing (it did get the whole arena standing, pointing and screaming at the refs). Carcillo got a couple of other crap calls later in the game.

Tiki got his first NHL goal in this game! WAY TO GO TIKI! I love that kid; he works so hard out there every night. He totally deserved that goal.

At the end of the game, we did get some payback. The sharks were getting penalty after penalty. At one point there were four sharks in the box. They all tried to sit at first, but one was on the other guys laps, so one ended up standing. It was quite hilarious to see.

By the third, Bryz was looking quite tired and was slow to react but he was able to hold it together to get us the win. I am thinking it might be time to put Telly in for a game or two. Bryz has played quite a few games now.

I am still not overly impressed with Jokinen. He was really pissing me off at the end of the game. He kept passing when he should have shot. He was doing circles on the ice, he was waiting too long to shoot. He had some great opportunities to shoot and he either waited too long or passed the puck. I know we were up, but a few more goals are always nice.

What was nice to see was the crowd was really into this game. They were loud and proud. We were cheering on the coyotes, yelling at the refs and taunting the sharks. Overall, it was probably the loudest it has been in the job.

Tuesday I was able to go to the Coyotes practice (thanks to all the vets that have served this country). While there we decided to check out the Road Runners practice, as it was after the coyotes.

The coyotes were looking pretty good at practice. They did the usual drills but at the end Turris, Winnik and Porter worked with the skate coach. Porter and Winnik did some crazy drills. They had to walk on their tippy toes (in their skates) while pulling the coach. They looked like really bad ballerinas! Then they had to pull him while doing that to the side. Turris just had to skate while pulling the coach. I think they were working on building his strength as he is a really good skater.

Also, Porter went after McGrattan at the end of practice and they got into a “fight”. It was really cute. Porter went up to McGrattan and pushed him with his stick. They then got into a little hugging match and then McGrattan was able to clear an arm and threw these baby punches on Porter’s visor. They were both cracking up.

When we went over the RR practice, they seemed really excited to have people watch them. They kept staring at us.

The RR were really into the practice. They were celebrating their goals like it was an actual game. They were also very verbal.

I felt sorry for Goalie. The guys were skating to the bench for instruction and Rome was playing with a puck and shot it toward the boards and it hit Goalie in the head. He went down to the ice. He also kind of yelled at Rome but I don’t think he realized it was an accident.

Tomorrow night, the coyotes play in Columbus. It is radio only and starts at 5. I won’t be listening to it, so I won’t blog about it.

Thursday night the Coyotes will be in Minnesota. This one I will be watching. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I apologize as this entry on last night’s game may not be the best. I wasn’t really in a hockey mood, so I watched but wasn’t paying as close of attention as I should have. And honestly, I just don’t know if I really want to write this blog.

The Coyotes were in Vancouver to take on Luongo and the Canucks. It was a show down between goalies, with Luongo eventually taking the W.

Early in the first Murray gets a breakaway on the PK but couldn’t get a shot off. He was hooked by a Canuck but there was no call (the calls were very one-sided last night). The reason we were in the box was a non-existent hook was called on Hanzal. So we don’t hook, we go to the box… they hook and nothing is called. Yes, I see how that is fair, makes total sense.

Vancouver’s #13 goes after our number 13 and they engage in a “fight”. I call it a “fight” because basically Carcillo was hugged and neither player could get a punch in. Carcillo finally gets his arm free but in doing so, loses his balance and they fall to the ice. Of course, Carcillo is not done yet, he chats all the way to the box and pretty much through his whole penalty. At one point, he actually stands up to talk at the other guy. The other guy was just laughing.

Vancouver scores, making it 1-0.

*TANGENT* Ok, so at this point, we went to commercial and I had to watch this stupid commercial where Sidney Crosby comes out of the picture (from the final game of the Cup finals) and starts talking. Later there was one staring Dion Pahneuf. These were probably some of the worse hockey commercials I have ever seen. The Coyotes get a new marketing guy this season and I think the NHL did too. Annnnnnnd both suck. Ok /tangent

There was some really nice passing from Rhino to Doan and back, good shot on goal but they just couldn’t get it past Luongo. Rhino was just doing a great job tonight with passing and shots, much like his last couple of games.

At the end of the first, Canucks lead 1-0. At the intermission they talked to Murray. I am really liking what he brings to the game. He’s got grit, he blocks shots and he can win face-offs (something much needed on this team – It’s sad when your best face-off man is Doan and he is a RW and doesn’t take that many). Murray may not be pretty, but I am glad Gretz has given him a chance. It was well deserved.

We also got more Jovo-luv during the break. They did a whole little segment were the players praised Jovo. Seriously, does this dude need his ego fed to play well?

We start the second with a crap call on Z. It was a total dive/embellishment on part of the Canucks player. It’s a good thing we have a great PK on the road (I think it was 6th in the NHL).
Then there was the hooking call on Jokinen (who was highly invisible tonight – along with Doan and Mueller – Gretz had to shake things up and change lines a bit). This was another one of those not really a penalty but we didn’t pay the refs as much as Vancouver did situations.

Bryz was actually playing very well tonight, much to my surprise as he looked a little stiff early on. He was covering when needed, not giving up huge rebounds and making some really amazing saves. At the end of the second he totally robbed a Vancouver player with a fantastic glove save and as he stood up, he totally stared the player down. It was classic.

I would say in the second period all players were good defensively but just couldn’t seem to get any offense going. We were struggling to really penetrate the Canucks zone. We just couldn’t keep control of the puck long enough to carry it into the Canucks zone and get a shot off.

At the end of the second, it was still 1-0 Vancouver.

In the third we get a 4 on 4 when Winnik gets into a shoving match with Vancouver. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long as Hanzal is called on a hook. Thankfully for the Coyotes, it was a delayed penalty and they were able to kill it off for about 1:30. When Hanzal went into the box, there was only about 17 seconds left on Winnik’s penalty. Also, it was funny when Winnik’s penalty ended, he came right out of the box but his “friend” on the Canucks didn’t come out of the box. The gate keeper was ready but the player just chilled. Of course, Vancouver had to have a discussion with the ref. Um, hello…your player is just stupid. He apparently wasn’t paying attention. You get what you deserve.

Tiki and Bods had a great break away but damn that Luongo! Bods has by far exceeded my expectations. I knew he would be great, but I am so impressed with him.

Sauer and DMo were helping Bryz out like no other! Sauer was in there whacking pucks away with his stick while DMo was blocking shots like crazy. I don’t think I have ever seen DMo block so many pucks in one game. DMo seems to be back to his normal self. He hasn’t had any glaring errors and hasn’t fallen on his butt in a few games. He was also using his shot from the blue line. This is the DMo we know and love and like to see.

The refs had yet another crap call on one of our players. Sauer was called for hooking (surprise, surprise) when a Sedin lost his balance. Sauer never even touched him with his stick (or anything – there was no contact at all). The Sedin was just trying to do a fancy move and lost his balance. Boo frickin hoo.

I couldn’t believe it; we won two crucial face-offs in a row thanks to Hanzal. He won the face-offs and the pucks just went right to Mueller on the point. We were able to get some good shots through and the guys tried to get the rebounds in the net. Then Jokinen comes in and is able to win the last face-off of the game (seriously, we won 3 in a row… I can’t believe it).

Even though we were able to win the face-off the game was lost when Mueller pulled a Jovo and was unable to keep the puck in the zone. Once it was out, the Coyotes were unable to get it back, losing 1-0. At least the Canucks missed on the empty net.

Up next: Saturday at the Job the Florida Panthers visit, bringing Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton back to me. And on Sunday the Sharks make their first regular season trip to the Job. Hopefully the Coyotes can string together two wins.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Coyotes at Calgary

Another lunch time post, brought to you by... Hipcheck. Read, enjoy, and please ignore any typing/spelling/grammatical errors. :)

The goalies facing off last night were of course Kippersoff and Bryzgalov. I have to admit I have a bigger goalie crush on the Kipper than I do on Bryz. Bryz made me far too nervous watching the game last night. There were a few times that I almost had to close my eyes (but more on that later).

My keys to the game were: take a hit to make a play, skate fast and don't be afraid to hit the people in Flames jerseys (fans, players it really doesn't matter).

First Period:
The game started off rough, only about 3 minutes in and Calgary scored it's first goal. I was having visions on an on-slaught, visions of Bryz falling apart but I tried to force those images out of my head and focus on the boys actually winning (it helped to have a chat room of friends also watching the game to commiserate with and then to laugh at stupid things).

At one point, Bryz looked like he was going to cover the puck, forcing the whistle (everyone I was talking to thought this too and it looked like the guys on the ice thought that too) but instead he throws it up the ice. It was almost stolen by a Flame. He also looked slow to get up at times, just slow to react period.

The coyotes went on the PK soon after the Flames goal and were able to get a short handed goal. Tiki blocked the pass/shot and DMo was able to grab it. He raced up the ice, shot and that puck sailed to the back of the net. After the goal, they were calling it an unassisted goal (and I don't know if it was ever changed) but Tiki deserves an assist on that one. If it wasn't for him, DMo may not have had that opportunity to take the puck and shoot.

We also got to see that Carcillo has not escaped persecution yet. He has been on his best behavior this year (maybe why he hasn't scored yet) but the refs can not leave well enough alone. He was trying to avoid a head on collision with a Flames player, so he tried to move out of the way. They still collided but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. He was called for tripping, yes tripping, because the other player went over Carcillo's leg when they tried to avoid the hit. WTF? Total crap. That should not have been a tripping call against Carcillo, it should have been no call on either player (although I did later joke when Carcillo ran into one our own players - they have been doing this a lot lately, poor communication? - that he should get called for tripping against his own guy. Yah, I made a couple people laugh with that one).

Doan did try to get another shorty with a nice breakaway but his shot seemed to be pretty easy for Kipper to stop.

Ugh, I got so sick of the announcers talking about Jovo. Jovo this, Jovo that. Jovo needs to get a point. They basically said that he needs to be partnered with Z to score and that others need to give him better passes, way to take responsibility Jovo. You are an all star/veteran and can only score with Z or amazing passes? What will you ever do if you or Z is traded? Or if Z leaves as a FA? You are a professional, act like one.

After a face off, Murray and Carcillo both went to throw down. Carcillo didn't end up going but Murray did (he even looked to see if Carcillo was fighting...planned much?). Murray was throwing some pretty hard punches at Nystrom. Some people may have called it a draw because they both hit the ice about the same time, but Murray clearly got in much better (and harder) punches and was about to get up and keep going before the linesmen seperated them.

After the fight, Doan scores. He just kept pushing at the puck and I swear it went in just be the sheer force of him willing it to go in. It got behind Kipper's skate and Doan just kept poking until it crossed the line.

Unfortunately, the lead did not last long. I was watching Bryz and I noticed how slowly he was moving and I knew they were going to score. Jovo turned the puck over on a pass out of their zone, the Flames grabbed it and went for it.

We end the first tied 2-2.

At the start of the second, Carcillo and Fridge collide (what? no penalty for Carcillo this time? oh yah, because that last one was bull crap). I really think our guys need to communicate better. They have been running into each other like crazy lately. There were a few more collisions last night amongst are guys but Carcillo and Fridge was probably the worse, as in hard.

We go on the PP and Jovo FINALLY scores. Mueller did a great job keeping the puck in, which they have been horrible about backing off too soon. Sometimes they could have kept the puck in or challeneged the player but they chose to back off too often.

For a short period a number of Flame players (including Phaneuf were trying to get to Carcillo. They were pushing, shoving, talking smack but he just wouldn't go. Yah, but you know, he's still the same guy and he hasn't matured. Oh wait, why am I listening to the trolls? Oh because it's funny!
Finally we pull ahead with a goal by Rhino. He received a beautiful pass from Porter (we need to keep these two together!) and did a couple of forehand/backhands and then put it in the net. It was gorgeous, just a gorgeous goal set up by a beauty of a pass.

The goal couldn't have come at a better time. The Flames were trying to tire the Coyotes out, but they just kept persisting. I woudl say some credit needs to go to the line of Carcillo-Murray-Fridge, as they were out there for an extended period of time and the Flames wouldn't let them change. They finally get a chance to change and Rhino, Bods and Porter come out strong. Great teamwork boys!

At the end of the second, it was 4-2 Coyotes.

Calgary attempted a breakaway in the third but somehow Bryz was able to make the save. Our boys came out a little more recharged after the second (they may have got a couple of goals, but they looked tired, dead tired).

I don't have much else to say about the third. They stayed in the game and made the Flames work. Also, I didn't notice Jokinen was even in the game until about 10 minutes into the third. I need him to be more consistant. He plays some great games (2 goals agains MN) but then seems to disappear in others.

Also, I am glad Turris sat this game out. Murray was the center we needed. Turris is expected back for the Vancouver game and I hope to see a repeat of what happened with Mueller early last season. I am not sure which center they will sit to accommodate Vancouver but I am guessing Murray (Rhino is on fire but Murray is better at face offs then our other centers). Jokinen will never be a healthy scratch and Hanzal has been doing so well, so I don't see either of them sitting tomorrow.

I am not sure what to expect from Vancouver. I haven't been paying much attention to them. They key in this game should be to shut down the twins and keep throwing the pucks at Luango. Those are the three main guys to watch out for. Also, Pyatt can be a little bit sneaky.

Obama wins it!!! I have been here to see history in the making. And Palin can go back to Alaska and make them miserable and leave me alone! ok, /political talk

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Beacause

I have been having some thoughts, so I thought I would do a random entry.

First off, why can the Coyotes not beat the Wild? What is it about them that makes it so difficult to win? Also, why do our players get so close to a hat trick and just can't get that third goal? Maybe Backstrom is a tease. Last season, Carcillo had two goals and him and the team tried so hard to get him the third goal but Backstrom was having none of that. Then on Saturday, Jokinen got two goals but Backstrom said no to his (and the teams) attempts to get a third. It is like Backstrom has a magical forcefield that will not let more than two goals per player in. This is when it would be helpful for others on the team to start scoring.

Secondly, I have been looking for Jovo's offense all season (we depended on it quite a bit last season) and it has been non-existent but he is still making all his little mistakes. He needs to balance out those mistakes by getting assists and goals or he is pretty much just worthless. He has been paired with DMo this season, so maybe that is the problem. He is being moved back to Z for tonights game. Although, I do feel sorry for Z. He finally gets a partner (Sauer) where he doesn't have to stay at the blueline and doesn't have to try and cover all the time and then Gretz's puts him back with Jovo (see my fifth point for more on this topic).

Third, We play the Flames tonight in Calgary (I will do a post after the game, it's so much easier to make notes during away games). We need to watch Iginla, Cam, and Dion. Those three were our down fall last time (ok and our lack of actually playing hockey). We need all our guys to show up tonight. We need Bryz to be the horse we know he can be. We need Jovo to get his offense going. Flames are always going to be a hard team for us to beat, but it can be done. We need to skate hard all three periods. We need to hit. We need to not let up (for one fraction of a second on Cam and Iginla). We need to fight. We need to score. It can (and will) be done. I have faith in my boys. Now, lets hope the line shuffling and D moves don't mess anyone up (again, see fifth point) as Gretzy debuts some new lines and pairings tonight. Turris will be sititng out tonight (a view from the pressbox might not be a bad idea, worked for Mueller) and Murray was called up. This was probably a good move for the Calgary game. We need more toughness out there and well, Turris is not our toughest player.

Fourth, the Panthers come to town this Saturday. I am excited to see my boy Ballard. I have heard he is doing awesome in Florida, you know being the type of Dman he was meant to be, not being forced to be a shut down Dman (and yes, DMo and Telly messed up on the Nash goal too, you can't blame just Ballard). Ballard is leading the Panthers in points with 10, 2 goals and 8 assists. In 11 games, almost a point per game. He is also a +/- +2. Way to go Ballard!

I haven't heard much on Boynton but I am looking forward to seeing him. He always brings the toughness. Boynton has 5 points (2g, 3A) in 11 games.

It will also be interesting to see how Jokinen does against his former team.

I plan to get some pics of Ballard and Boynton during warmups. I miss my dmen.

Fifth, Gretzky has changed the lines yet again. I have no problem with rewarding hardwork (i.e. moving Fridge up to the first line for a couple of games) but seriously, let's try lines out for more than one game. You might be surprised by the results. It will give the boys some time to click. Or heres an idea, if one person on the line isn't working out, just change out that person.

The lines/pairings for Tuesday (stolen from Coyotes website):

Winnik-Hanzal-Tikhonov (I love this line. Unfortunately none of these guys have gotten a goal yet. All have worked hard and done great things for us though)

Doan-Jokinen-Mueller (I think Mueller is having a hard time his sophmore year. He seems to have regressed. He has stopped moving his feet again. Sophmore slump?)

Porter-Reinprecht-Boedker (Reinprecht to Porter was a great goal, maybe Wayne is hoping for more of that? Fast and defensively minded line)

Carcillo-Murray-Fedoruk (Pure toughness and with Carcillo, you got the goal scoring ability and Murray has the face off ability - could be lots of potential here)

Morris-Sauer (I loved this pairing in training camp, maybe it will make Morris use his cannon more)

Jovanovski-Michalek (Poor Z but if it gets Jovo some offense, I'm all for it)

Hale-Klee (hrmmmm, I did like what I saw of Klee the last two games. I like Hale and want him to do well but I feel he just shows us flashes of what he can do and isn't consistant. At least it's better than Yandle - apologies to all my readers that like Yandle, no offense meant to you, I just don't think Yandle is there yet)

I apologize for any spelling and/or grammatical errors. I did this post on my lunch hour and didn't really edit it. I may correct when I get home from work, but I may not. If you don't like that, too bad.

P.S. For all those Americans out there.. I hope you did your civic duty and voted. I did which gives me the right to complain for the next 4 years. If you did not vote, I don't want to hear any complaints from you! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thursday and Friday Night Games

On Thursday night, the Coyotes beat the Penguins 4-1. Congrats go out to Kevin Porter, as he got his first NHL goal (and a special shout out to Boedker who went over and collected the puck for Porter).

The refs seemed to be leaning toward the Penguins. There was an obvious hooking on Bods, but nothing was called. And then they called a boarding call on Carcillo that was so not boarding. Never the less, the Coyotes were able to overcome the non-calls and bad calls to win the game.

Rhino had an impressive return. He was all over the ice and making some smooth moves. He also had a couple of assists and was really setting the guys up nicely. Maybe we need to sit Rhino more often… he comes back with a vengeance!

Overall, the boys played well. They held the Pens scoreless in the first and answered the Pens first goal quickly. They did slump a little bit in the second but not as much as they did against the Flames and thye came back strong in the third. They were hitting hard and taking hits. They were fast and kept their feet moving. When they lose, they aren’t doing all of the above.

On a side note… I am very disappointed in Sidney Crosby. I didn’t like him much before (too much whining) but I can’t believe what he did Saturday. He left after the second for an “injury” (probably thanks to the hit from Doan, yah, he was DOANED!). He later said he would have to watch the tape to see how he was injured (ok, how do you NOT know what you injured?) and that he couldn’t have done much in the third anyway. Ummmm, you were down 2-1 in the third. There was plenty you could have done. Wow, what a great captain. I guess I am spoiled having Doan as our captain. He is the type to play with a broken hand for over a month (and was the best player in the NHL for that month) and the fans didn’t even know until after his hand was healed. That is a captain. That is a leader. In my opinion, Sidney Crosby is not a leader. What kind of leader leaves his team for an unknown injury (unknown by the player…yah still don’t believe that) and then says there was nothing he could have done?

Thanks to the woman behind me I am losing my hearing. She is very loud and when she screams, it is very high pitched. I am thinking they are season ticket holders, as they have been there the last couple of games. I literally cringe whenever she yells. I am pretty sure she doesn’t know much about hockey, as some of the things that come out of her mouth are just plain stupid (Goal it, wtf?). Also, Saturdays are worse, as they drink, a lot. I also overheard them say they didn’t know who to cheer for when another team comes to town (I believe it was Vancouver) but other than that they are Coyotes fans. Ugh. I hate people like that. You live here now; this should be your team. I don’t care if you cheer for whatever team when they are not playing the Coyotes, but when you are a Coyotes STH, you need to cheer for them even when they play your other team.

Last night we went to the Road Runners game. It was a pretty good game, even though they lost. It took overtime for the Reign to win. Everytime the Reign scored, the Road Runners would answer quickly with a goal. I did notice that the Road Runners weren’t hitting and fighting as much as they usually do. They picked up the hits a little bit in the second and third.

My goalie did an awesome job, even though he let in 3 goals. He doesn’t make me nervous in net like Bryz does for the Coyotes. Speaking of Bryz, I am starting to think he really isn’t starting goalie material. I think we need to go with the tandem. Bryz for like 2-3 games and then Telly for a game or two.