This was a bounce back game and that’s exactly what Smitty and the Desert Dawgs just did, bounced back. Drain the SHark tank 1 – 0.
After the Chicago game a lot of questions arose but today’s tilt showed these Coyotes have a resolve to rebound from adversity. The road trip will show exactly how this season will take shape. The road warriors came out with a lot more jump, a ton more discipline, and weathered every storm. When the Sharks attacked the defense stayed firm and when there was a opportunity Mike Smith stood on his head. This was that total team game we speak of from time to time. The offense provided many chances but just could not bury one.
After Phoenix jumped out early San Jose responded but neither team could score after one. Through the 2nd period both teams fought to another stalemate. Then after a few mistakes by rusty Rusty Klesa and Shane Doan, for delay of game the Penalty Kill responded well with stone wall Smitty stopping everything sent his way. This was indeed a pitcher’s duel as Niemi also stopped everything he faced. The game was still deadlocked at ZERO – ZERO late in the 3rd period which was offensively dominated by the Sharks thanks to the power plays.
Down the stretch they went, the Coyotes trying to hold on for the photo and the hard charging Sharks gaining with every stride and at the wire it was too close to call. Both squads awarded a point for their efforts but this will be decided by a head bob in the photo.
Cannot say enough about the effort of Mike Smith. He was glad to not face the Blackhawks who have undressed him this season for 12 goals in 2 games. Today he was Smitty and his stellar play led toa shootout win.
Let’s not forget the defense led by Michalek who blocked a whopping 8 shots and he was not alone as by hook or by crook the defense gave up their bodies. Hanzal and Ollie both limped around after blocked and Hanzal appeared to hurt his hand.
The way these goal tenders played it is a shame it had to end in a shootout but that’s exactly how it would end. Boedker and Vrbata both had sweet shootout goals to go with Smitty’s 2 saves to secure the much needed win.
In this game the Desert Dawgs got a much needed drink of water with 2 points.