Tonight the Coyotes played host to the 10th place Calgary Flames at the Jobing.com arena. The Coyotes entered the day in 9th place but tied in points with Minnesota Wild (Minnesota has game in hand). The Coyotes end the day in 8th place and 2 points behind LA Kings for 7th place. How did they accomplish this feat? Team defense, back check, keep Jarome Iginla off the score sheet, trick one of the flames to shoot on net and hit Alex Tangay in the face with the puck (forced him to leave the game and come back with a cage for a couple of shifts before back to a shield) and ending it in dramatic fashion. How did we get here? You have to go back to the beginning.
Taylor Pyatt raced down the left side with Gilbert Bruele on the right. Calgary D Sarich went down to one knee and took out the passing lane to Bruele. Pyatt ripped it home of the between the pads of goale Irving (Mikka got the night off). 1-0. and the stat of the day (again, with drum bass reverberating, STAT OF THE DAY. The Coyotes are 26-3-5 when Pyatt scores at least one goal. As Pyatt scores, so do the wins of the boys.
The first period with no penalties and Coyotes leading by one. First Period Interminssion was by the Coyote Figure Skaters or similarly names. organization. Second period started CJ Brolie getting hooking call at 5:37. 20 seconds later Pyatt goes off for hi-sticking.Mark Giordano tripping at 12:30 and Jesus, sins like man would, went for boarding at 15:47. Lauri Korpikoski ringed on off the post.No more goals were scored, and off to third period.
Third period starts with Keith Yandle and Lance Bouma getting roughing penalties at the 2: 20 mark. Keith was driven hard into the Flame bench. Olli Jokinen was sitting right next to Keith placed head first into the bench. No expression change. Love him. Just like, that is hockey. Mikael Backland got into a scrum with Keith to the west of of the Coyotes defensive zone, against the glass. Pushing led to Backland kind of facing Keith but them pushing him forward and holding him at the waist. No damege done. The refs come in, unhook Backland’s hands, and Keith threw an uppercut that rocked Backland. Backland skated to the penalty box holding a blood mouth. If he went looking for teeth was the only way to make that punch any better. Somewhere, Keith’s grandfather is telling how he taught Keith that move. And Backland didn’t take off his shield.
Overall play was sloppy. Lots of 2 on 1 rushes for Calgary, but no finishes. The Coyote back check was great, and the boys packed in around Smitty when Flames had the puck in our end. Speaking of puck, it was jumping and moving. Not gliding gracefully. It was alive and a problem.
The third period ends the game tied at 1. Oh yeah. Olli scored from Giordana and Hannan. That is 4 goals in 2 nights. Cut off his Big Mac supply.
Overtime started with some good rushes and good fore/back checks. Both teams were flying, and then Backland tripped Daymond Langkow to make it 4-3. Whitney running the power play from the point. Vrbata at the top, Shane on the left side face off circle. Vrbata let one fly from Whitney that hit Jones on the knee and dropped him. Like a sniper taking out his target. The rest of the time he was a tripod. His stick was supporting him, he had no movement. Mickey rose up, looked Rocky in the eye and yelled “finish him Rock.” Jones cannot get off the ice. Vrbata crosses it across the high slot, hitting the tape on the stick of Jesus, who slaps it home. Overtime game winner. 4 in a row.8th and final spot in the play off push.
Here are a couple of things I heard tonight that was interesting.
- The Coyotes are 26-3-5 when Pyatt has one or more goals.
- They made up 5 points in 1 week.
- Go the parking lot early, get a free Coyote window sticker, put it on your car, and you can win some swag from the paw patrol. FLY THE FLAG.
- Hockey is dead only if we don’t support it and keep supporting it. The media will pick it up at our demise or they’ll climb aboard the playoff bandwagaon. Your choice. Go to a game and support the team, or stay home and watch the Suns lose in breathtaking fashion.
- Over 9 thousand heroes have been brought to a game. Let’s make Saturday’s game the night we bring in1000. Buy the hardhat. I’m pretty sure any of the players would autograph it if asked.
- GMDM is a stud for bringing in Gilbert Brule and Kyle Chipchera.
- OEL led all skaters with 22:47. Keith would have had the ice time prize but decided to punch Backland in the face and bloody him up. Backland was not expected Keith to get his arm free and when he did, it was fist to mouth. Rocked Backland and he was down. Down goes Backland if the ref didn’t have to hold him up. What a punch.
- Boyd Gordon and Daymond Langkow won their face offs and kept the Flames at bay. Martin Hanzal is just a monster. When he ties you up, just go limp. He’ll be done with you in a few minutes. You can recover. With therapy.
- Smith was a force stopping 23 shots.Olli’s goal was from the high slot.
- Shane hits and destroys people. He took a boarding call when he hit the player who was off the glass but the force of the impact drove him into the glass. He didn’t get his hands up to protect himself. You have to learn to expect to get hit.
- Shane should win the belt tonight. Pyatt could be his valet.
And to the folks I met tonight, Darryl, Debra, and Nic (k), you made the game fun and even more entertaining. The hockey community in AZ is small. Tight. Full of good people like you, who do things, for people like Katie Wagner. See you Saturday. Let’s make it FIVE! Howl at you tomorrow.