The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Calgary Flames last night in a shootout. By now, you know Ray Whitney scored when Hannan fell at the blue line for a warmup on his shootout goal. Oh yeah, he scored on this gift. His comment after the game “I was looking to pass it to Radim, but he has enough goals so I took one for myself.”
Vrbata took a horrible interference call (Stephane Auger was one of the refs for the game last night) late in the third period which allowed Olli Jokinen a chance to score and tie the game at 3. It was a Coyote game except for spotting Calgary two first period goals. Low penalties (Coyotes lead the league with lowest penalty minutes per game) and a good forecheck. Whitney being in the right place allowed him to steal the puck and score.
Shane Doan got his 19th goal of the season on a high tip from the slot. Daymond Langkow took a beautiful feed from who else but Ray Whitney to get the Coyotes tied at two.
What happened on the first two Calgary goals? Back up to the 3pm hour on Thursday when The Shepherd Don Maloney was on XTRA 910 AM, he mentioned that with Mike Smith being so good at playing the puck, he is worked in as a third defensemen and then said “With all he plays the puck, you have to expect the occasional flub.” The statement came flying to my memory as Keith Yandle was prone on the ice mouthing “Sorry” to Smitty after diving to swipe the puck away from the net. Smith skated out the the right face off circle to play the puck. Alex Tanguay intercepts the puck and tried to pass to Mike Cammalleri in the high slot. Instead, it went off the skate of Lauri Korpikoski and turned 90 degrees left, toward the goal. Yandle saying sorry was the epitome of ALL IN. He knows that Smitty has bailed the team out time after time during this streak of 10 games in which the Coyotes are 9-0-1. 19 out of a possible 20 points. No one is hotter right now than our beloved Yotes.
New center Antoine Vermette did what he was brought in for. Hit 2 posts, played well, won 9 of 15 faceoffs. Got penalty kill time, took some pressure off Daymond Langkow and Boyd Gordon. The Shepherd remarked on same radio interview that since the Turris trade and when Hanzal was injured in December, he has been looking for a center like Vermette. An offensive threat, big body, and a winner on face offs. What was most important is that he didn’t have to break up the lockerroom to acquire Vermette. He got a player under contract for the next couple of years and not an end of season rental.
Shepherd Maloney also said that at the NHL All-Star game, the Coyotes were out of the playoffs and the management was thinking about entertaining offers for Shane Doan and Ray Whitney. I cannot imagine the team with Jesus and The Wizard. It was like they put the team on their backs and pulled it into the top of the Pacific, tied with San Jose but the Sharks have two games in hand.
The shepherd? Because he fleeces the other General Managers with every trade.