Ok Coyotes fans. Tonight was a tough one to swallow. Bright side is we showed we can play with the Flyers and their 7-2-1 last 10 games streak. They’re a big physical team and you took it to them for half the game. Unfortunately some won’t see the real reason we lost. Not just because we had the coveted 2 goal lead in which Tippett’s system equates to a win normally. Because we just did not take advantage of the advantages. Not just the 2 goal lead but the Power Play. 3 man advantages in the first period and the score is 0-0 with the feeling we dominated them. Anytime you go 0-3 on the man advantage that will come back to bite you. Think NFL. Get FGs instead of TDs inside the Redzone. When you waste these opportunities you put yourself at risk.
Sports are often games decided by waves of emotion and momentum. At 2-0 the Flyers called a timeout. Their coach gave them the type of ass chewing Dave gave our boys at 1st INT. Philly came out and before you can say drop the puck… 2-1 after the one timer Smitty didn’t have a chance on. Clear lane DEF lapse and pass, shoot. NO CHANCE. Again at 3-1 you see the urgency of the trailing team pick up and it is like a fighter needing a knockout. There was a great opportunity to land one on their nose and ice the game as they most likely would have to take chances to get back in the game.
If you’re down you start sending a defensemen up into the play which of course makes you vulnerable to a fast break or odd man rush the other way. But down goals it’s a chance you take. Of course Philly again answered the bell and put back a rebound after several saves and chances. With no defense to clean it up as per Tippett’s system and 3-2. Dave’s rule is 1 shot on net that can be seen and clean it up. If rebound clear it. Get rid of the trash and opposing skaters. No second chances. On this goal there were several and later in the 3rd it happened again. Save save save. Pass pushed up front and a few whacks led to a trickler outside the outstretched skate of Smitty and it was 3-3. Still a comfortable position for Phoenix as the Coyotes play well tied or up late in games. Like a suffocating python squeezing the time off the clock.
Unfortunately what happened next is Keith Yandle. After all the griping and praising and chants of USA USA when he makes a great play, dangle, pass, shot, clear…even the long stretch pass to Boedker for a awesome all around score. Keith went all Yandle on us and showed exactly why he is not on Team USA.
He turned over the puck and as quickly as you can say “You got Snubbed!” it was 4-3 Flyers over the Coyotes. Now we’d have to rally. So while all of you screamed pull Smitty and Tippett is a moron… knowledgeable fans saw the real problem. Which happened late when we were on the Power Play desperate to tie the game and send it to OT. We again squandered a golden opportunity and looked below average in the process.
So get upset with defensive lapses and sloppy play. Get angry with the horrible Power Play. Just take a step back and realize it’s not Smitty, Doan, or Tippett’s fault. Sometimes the momentum swings and you can’t stop the train. Ask the Chiefs.
Topics:Phoenix Coyotes, Team Usa
About the Author
Native of Arizona. I have four daughters to keep me humble. Them and my fiance Katrina are the loves of my life. Then it is all sports. In 1976 I fell in love with sports. Phoenix Suns, Cincinnati Reds, and Dallas Cowboys were all my favorites as I watched them all make it to the championship. Also in that year I saw my first Olympics. I became fascinated with anything USA. Hockey was a big deal for me as well. We attended many Phoenix Roadrunner games. To be honest I couldn't wait for the hot dog and soda as well as a few goals from the home squad. Even rooted for the parent team the LA Kings. But the Miracle on Ice came at the right time for me. Team USA made hockey magical. Just like a great trick so much anticipation and intensity leading to a climatic puck crossing the line and the crowd going absolutely crazy.