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. :)