Keith Yandle was being destroyed by fans in my section. They really give it to him for his occasional brain fart because of the good he ends up doing.
After he looked to have been snipered Mike Smith bailed him out with a huge poke save. Later Yandle would return the favor after Smitty had wondered too far from net by kick saving a sure goal in the first period. So in the end they both get credit for one bad play and an even better good play. Pretty much how the entire game went seeing Phoenix play hard while dodging bullets.
Smitty again received 1st star with 21 saves on 22 shots. The lone goal given up was on a turnover by Boedker that went right to Zach Parise and he buried it past Smith. Backstrom plated well but gave up 2 goals on a whopping 34 shots. Following a game where the Yotes defense didn’t allow a shot for 17 mins they again had a stretch with no shots in 15 mins.
The Coyotes get a welcome 2 days off before facing Chicago on Thursday and it comes after going 3-0-2 in their last 5 games. For some reason the Coyotes love February and this run comes at a must after a slow start. Tonight however the Yotes started quickly then it seemed to be all Wild in the last half of the 2nd period. Minnesota swarmed and the havoc caused the turnover that led to their only goal but they hit several crossbars. Thanks to Morris, Yandle, Ollie, and especially Michalek who is a blocking machine including a shot off his chin that nearly took him out.
Tonight was a team or “Pack” effort in which every skater put it all on the line to stop the puck and frustrate an already scrambling team who had been here working out kinks. Coach Yeo reportedly ran them through drill after drill but left Phoenix without a point to show for their trip.
Puck drops Thursday at 7pm versus the Blackhawks. First game Torres and Hossa will face each other after the viscous hit that got him suspended.