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.