Second Half, Second Wind

Since New Years Eve, one word could describe the Phoenix Coyotes: Dismal. Four games, four losses and four spots away from the coveted 8th and final playoff spot. Only six goals for and a staggering 21 goals against.

A season proformance tonight in Buffalo changed all that.Winning 2-1 in a shootout does not sound like a very convincing, none the less a season changing victory, but it is quite possibally the greatest game Phoenix has played all season. After giving up the early lead on Buffalo’s first powerplay, goaltender Brian Boucher was perfect, stopping 30 shots, including all 3 in the shootout.

While Boucher may have been the star of the game (actually, he did not get any of the star awards, they gave that to Marty Biron Geoff Sanderson and Jason Pominville, and who says that the star rankings are not home-biased?), his play was supplimented by an outright amazing Phoenix penelty kill. Phoenix killed off 5 penelties, including two 5 on 3’s, one of which was in the overtime period. After this grand display of penelty killing in overtime, Phoenix still managed to pelt Biron with 6 shots in the last 1:59 of the overtime. Biron ended up facing a total of 40 shots, turning away 39 and allowing only one goal in the shootout. Phoenix’s only regulation goal came early in the 3rd period a la Oleg Saprykin.

So you ask again, why is this game so important?

1: It ended the goaltending funk Phoenix has been stuck in, a solid proformance by Boucher will eather earn him the starting job or pressue CuJo to elevate his game to keep it.

2: It proved to Phoenix that they can compete with a top rate team without scoring half a dozen goals.

3: It gives Phoenix momentum going into the second half of the season, and gives Wayne some strong points to reenforce for Saturday’s game in Toronto.

Phoenix needs to elevate their play if they really want to have a chance to make the playoffs. If tonight’s game is any sign of what is to come, Coyotes fans have a lot to howl about.


27 Responses to Second Half, Second Wind

  1. tml28 says:

    NOBODY CARES!!!!!

    Nobody cares about articles about these kind of teams, or these type of articles, where are all the articles about teams that actually have a very good fanbase ie: NYR, TOR, Philly. All we see now on this site is crap teams. A person that us a fan of these teams needs to wait like a freakin week to post a comment on their team. I would write my own articles, but when I do they dont get posted so I leave it up to other people. Make this site alittle more exciting, as of right now its like watching paint dry.

  2. paul_dc10 says:

    so because of won win there gonna make the playoffs and everything else, i dont know, and boucher got lucky

  3. wingerxxx says:

    Hey, every team needs as many fans as they can get. What is a “crap team” this season could be a great team next season. Who would have thought that Tampa Bay would win the Stanley Cup in the 03-04 year? I am all for articles about any team in the league. If no attention is paid to the smaller market teams in the league, it hurts the league as a whole. And Phoenix does have a very entertaining hockey team. The Rangers, Leafs and Flyers all have plenty of articles thrown onto this site. They’re not being neglected.

  4. wingerxxx says:

    Shootout or not, a win is a win! Hopefully, Gretz can get his team to build on last night’s success, because the Sabres are a good team. If they keep putting shots on goal like that, good things are going to happen. Definitely a good sign for them.

  5. Scruffy05 says:

    tell it sister! I’m with you on this one, if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to read it.

    Also, how is he not getting any stories published? I’ve never had any problems…

  6. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    The Coyotes beat the Sabres? THat’s it! No cup for Ottawa this year, the parade route goes through the desert, because the Coyotes are gonna be the 05-06 cups champs!

    Yeah right. Desert dogs suck and won’t make the playoffs. If 1 game means something, then i guess the habs are gonna win the eastern conference and the cup because they beat ottawa twice.

  7. tml28 says:

    Listen ok, all these new NHL teams are pathetic, there jerseys suck, most of them shouldnt even be around, ie:Colombus,Minnesota,Anaheim,Phoenix.

    Lightening are a boring team, and there jerseys are gay along with the bolt on the side of their shorts…..veryyy coooll, umm hmm lets see Carolina barely even has people come to their games, not to mention the thrashers, their a joke, they have a rediculous top line but no goalie, figure that one out, there jerseys are also gay!

    Every new team has a flamboyant jersey, while the more traditional teams have better ones, and when i am watching the hockey package, when would i ever want to watch a team from colombus, or any of these other teams.

    This site focuses more on the islanders, thrashers, carolina, and PITTSBURGH because the hockey GOD plays there, which by the way Ovechkin is much better and will always be better, you’ll see next year when Crosby has no lemieux or palffy.

    Im calling it right now

    Lets write some articles on the interesting teams, because none of the other teams are interesting, where are all the TOR, NYR, Philly, Ottawa although there is one now on HTR, or Detroit, Colorado, articles are being posted that have like 5 comments, what happened to the interesting, and somewaht controversial ones that rack up close to a 100 or more. The articles are all boring now, all we see now is lets rate the best player, who cares! and about the montreal trade, one post is enough, you guys like posted the same thing twice

    IDK i enjoy commenting on my team, and maybe sometimes being controversial with the interesting teams that are competitive and have a history

    Well Whatever

  8. cementhead says:

    After watching them play last night I think I might agree with you. They finally played with passion. However, I do think you are premature with this article.

    I will believe it when the Desert Dogs put together a 4 game win streak – a feat they have not yet accomplished this year. Heck, I would even be happy with a 3 game streak (which they have only accomplished once I beleive).

    I do believe this team is better then they are getting credit for, and I do believe they will make the playoffs, but I want more then this one win to base my arguement upon.

    As for Boucher, as crazy as it sounds, I submit that this is his 2nd good game in a row. I know he had 7 goals against him in Ottawa, but, if memory serves correct 4 were turnovers right in front of him and on the others he had zero support. Like I said it sounds crazy and you wouldn’t believe me unless you watched it but he wasn’t all that bad against the Sens – the rest of the team was.

    And Tyson Nash – boy is it nice to have our energy guy back. Is it coincidence that this team had a 16 game energy drought that came back the game Nash came back. I submit it is not.

    So, three more wins and I will agree that we have enough to base an arguement that we have turned things around. I also believe they will do it.

  9. Scruffy05 says:

    Because, like Columbus’s red pants SO doesn’t go with the blue on their jerseys. It like SO clashes!

    Now Marcy, what I would have done would be a sort of retro look… I would take the long pants that were used soemtime around the 40’s and 50’s and make them just a delicious colour of of cotton candy blue. On top of that I would make a mandatory black undershirt underneath a white and crimson jersey. OOOH! So chic! Doesn’t that just combination just scream “I wanna score with your goalie??”

    Now come here hockey players… line up. Line up! Ohh, you are al so big and strapping! It’s like a smorgasborg for me!

    But seriously, Marcy, my vote for worst dressed hockey team would have to go carolina… those skates just don’t go with those leggings and what is with all the red!?!? Like, ewww!!

    Are you ****ing kidding me?

    Come on man, there are a lot of Leafs fans, followed closely by Habs, Flyers and Sens fans with an honorable mention to Detroit, Islanders and Vancouver… that is how we have what we call an ‘intelligent conversation’…. It’s a debate site. It is not a bunch of teenage girls going “Do you like Sundin?…. Oh so do I!!! Isn’t Tucker just to DIE for? It’s those sultry eyes and the gruffy look of his…. He’s definetly spongeworthy!!” If you want that their is probably a backstreet boys forum somewhere around here…

  10. mtrakker85 says:

    Every team has fans. Who are you to come on here and bash this article. You take the time out of your “busy” day and post an article about your favorite team.

  11. shifterdarkwolf says:

    Your ignorance is only slightly outdone by your inaccuracy. tMany of these “new” teams, as you call them, have been around for a couple decades, get over it and stop living in the past.

    Oh, and on the note of not liking articles about “new teams” yet enjoying the occasional article about Colorado… well guess what… Colorado is a “new” team by your standard. Colorado entered the leauge in the ’95-’96 season after it left Quebec City. Phoenix entered the NHL the next year when it left Winnipeg. Carolina has always been around, it just used to be located in Hartford. Atlanta used to have the Flames back in the old days, and today a season ticket is as hard to get in Atlanta as it is in Montreal. Anahiem is an older hockey club than Colorado, the Islanders has probably the second greatest dynasty in hockey history after Wayne’s Oilers, and Pittsburgh is just as famous a team as the Leafs. If you are going to insult a team, at least know your shit, or better yet,

    GROW UP AND GET OVER IT.

  12. shifterdarkwolf says:

    I never said the Coyotes would win the cup, I merely said they played their best game of the season and that it came at a critical time if they wanted to keep their playoff run alive. There are plenty of articles glorifying the greatness of Ottawa’s team this year, it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to suddenly love Ottawa now, there are probably a dozen Coyotes fans that regular this site, and probably a few dozen that pay attention to the Pacific Division, that is who this article is most relevant to, if you don’t care, then don’t care, just don’t b a troll, it makes you look bad.

  13. Scruffy05 says:

    but… but what about all the fashion faux-pas!!!! 😛

  14. Lint07 says:

    ”I would write my own articles, but when I do they dont get posted”

    There you go, find a way to write a better article than those ”crappy team’s fans” then. If you can’t write a good article it’s not their problem and they shouldn’t pay the price of being bashed for it.

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

    You have no right to bash this article.

  15. shifterdarkwolf says:

    Thank you for standing up for the little guys. 😛

  16. suppaman says:

    Kind of silly since this game was basically playing against the Amerks forwards. Half of the Sabres NHL forwards that are keys on the team are out, and Drury’s had groin issues the past few days (missed one game but stuck last night’s out)

    Briere, Dumont, Pyatt, Gaustad, Mair all basically missed that game (Mair left during the game). Drury has the common “pulled groin right now” so I’m even shocked he tried to play since he probably could’ve hurt himself more. That’s 5 out of 12 starting season forwards out, and one playing really banged up. And I can’t believe they had Pominville shoot in the shootout over Vanek.

  17. Gretzkin says:

    Learn how to spell.

    Learn how to give your article some flow.

    Then you’ll get posted.

    Nobody wants to read anything that they have to back up and try to figure out what the crap you are saying.

    There is plenty of variety on this site for everybody to talk about.

    Although, I could barley get through what you had written, so I’m still not sure what you are talking about…

  18. Gretzkin says:

    Fantastic!

    …those skates don’t go with those leggings!”

    Golden!

  19. Gretzkin says:

    Straight from the Horse’s Mouth!

    Atta Boy Lint07!!!!

  20. doanerfan says:

    AND LET THE HATERS COME IN…DID YOU NOTICE HOW MUCH OF THE HATERS ARE MAPLE LEAF FANS???

  21. wingerxxx says:

    I have to admit…the Islanders were dead to me when they had those ‘fisherman’ jerseys…haha. But then again, I don’t think I was alone!

  22. doanerfan says:

    JERE COMES ALL THE COYOTES HATERS…LOT OF LEAF FANS, EH?

  23. doanerfan says:

    What an awesome win over the leafs. Good job Yotes.

  24. EmptyNetter says:

    First of all, thanks for writing the article — good to hear a personal update on some of the lesser known teams. I hope you don’t mind a few questions from a Boston fan who sees very few West Coast games. :)

    1. I hear Sean O’Donnell just got suspended. Tough guy with a hot head but a good leader and a decent stay at home dman. Is Gretzky having trouble with him?

    2. Any significant change after the Tanabe-Scatchard trade? Tanabe has been great for Boston’s transition game and wonder if the Yotes miss him. I like Scatchard and wonder if he’s made an impact.

    3. Been to any live games this season? Wonder how strongly the Phoenix fans are supporting their team.

    Cheers! Whatever our teams’ records this season it’s just good to have NHL hockey back, eh?

  25. cementhead says:

    Love to answer them:

    I’m no insider to the team but I will give you my best observations.

    1. O’Donnell. No, I have not heard anything about problems with O’Donnell. He is still getting plenty of PIMs, 102 to be exact (tied with Chara for 5th I beieve). In his defense, I lot of them have been smart penalties. As for the suspension it was a good move by O’Donnell and a questionable suspension. The suspension was for recieving his 3rd instigator this year. Chris Neil was in a corner trying to start something with Ricci. Neil was throwing soft “push” punches with gloves on trying to get Ricci to take the bate. O’Donnell came from accross the ice casually (did not come in flying or swinging) and offered to stand in in Ricci’s place and Neil agreed. They dropped them and the rest is history. Coyotes were upset and couldn’t figure out how it qualified as an instigator and appealled to the league. League said it was because of the amount of real estate cover in O’Donnell getting over to protect Ricci. It’s a shame that when you offer to step into an impending fight in order to protect a teammate it can be deemed instigator.

    Also with O’Donnell, he did not start the season well and was in the dog house early. Him and his “not so fleet of foot” speed caused him problems in the new NHL. It was looking like he would become a regular as a healthy scratch. Fortunately for O’Donnell Gauthier got hurt and we needed him. Sean responded fantastic and learned how to adapt tot the new game. He does great by doing all of the small things right and has become an important part of the team.

    All signs that I have seen have pointed to the Yotes being very pleased with what he has done here.

    2. Tanabe. I miss him. He was one of my favorites here. Does his skating not remind you of Paul Coffee? Unfortunately with the stand out play of two rookie dmen, Ballard and Michalek, the Yotes found themselves with a surplus of Dmen. First Hulse was shipped to Columbus and then Tanabe to Boston. SO in that sense he is not to missed (until the recent injury to Morris) as we had enough competent dmen.

    Scatchard has been fun to watch when he plays hard. Some games he has been non existant and he has been injured for a number of games as well. I have heard he is good in the locker room. Still he shows like he could be a big part of this team if he could stay healthy and play with a little more passion.

    Glad to hear Tanabe is doing well – like I said he was one of my favorites here.

    3. Been to about 12 games this season and watched all other but one on TV. Crowds seem to be doing very well. On weekends the new arena fills up great and will even sell out once in a while (a rarity in the past). On weekdays it is still quite weak, but better then it had been in years past. All in all, I think management has to be pleased with the attendance.

    Phoenix has such fair whether fans for all their sports that if the Coyotes were to start coming on strong I think you would see some great numbers there, even during the week.

    Thanks for having interest in our team.

  26. shifterdarkwolf says:

    1: Gretz is having no trouble with O’Donnell, he isn’t quite on top of his game, but he is still being productive. He got susspended for 3 instigator penelties this season.

    2: I think Phoenix got the short end of the trade with Scatchard, but Phoenix needed the scoring presence more than the extra dman. You have a gem in Tanabe there, and Dave just hasn’t panned out for the Yotes, only a handful of points.

    3: Unfortunatly, no, I have not been able to see them live this season. Though I am a yotes fan, I live far far away from Phoenix, Upstate NY. I had been planning to go see them while they were in Montreal earlier this season, but it fell on my final exam day.

  27. big_booty says:

    Don’t get your hopes up on Boucher. He has been maddeningly inconsistent every since leaving Philadelphia and there is no reason to believe he won’t continue to be so for the rest of his career.

    He put together a couple of decent starts?

    Big whoop.

    Isn’t he the same guy who, once upon a time, had five shutouts in a row the last time there was a season, only to win four games the entire rest of the season?

    ‘Yotes fans shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. They’ve done that before, and ended up with omelettes.

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