Arizona Coyotes veteran Boyd Gordon was awarded the player of the game belt after the team’s 3-1 win over San Jose on Thursday night.
The Arizona Coyotes won their third straight on Thursday night thanks to some timely challenges and a strong night from Mike Smith.
Mike Smith already had the player of the game belt from his 44 save shutout in Edmonton, however.
Sometimes the belt goes to the best player on a particular night. They scored goals, made saves, or set up their teammates and put on a show. Other times, it goes to the best teammate.
Smitty went with the all-around contribution, handing the belt off to a very deserving Boyd Gordon.
Boyd Gordon has scored just two goals and contributed only two assists in 53 games with the Arizona Coyotes this season.
It’s not always about the goals or assists. Sometimes it’s about the work and since his return from injury Gordon has been putting in the effort.
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Gordon went down with an injury to his hand after blocking a shot and missed the majority of the month of February. While the forward attempted to recover, the Coyotes suffered through a nightmare month filled with disappointment and dismay.
The team fell out of playoff contention and eventually had to trade one of it’s former first round picks, Mikkel Boedker, away at the deadline thanks to the late season swoon.
Gordon’s absence wasn’t the primary cause of the Coyotes’ tailspin, but his presence was missed in the locker room and the lineup. Tyler Gaudet will likely slot into Boyd Gordon’s place in the lineup next season, but the 23-year-old has played a mere 16 NHL games.
In times of turmoil, those 12 years of NHL experience can be handy.
For his part, Boyd Gordon returned to the lineup with a vengeance.
Held scoreless throughout the 2015-16 season, Gordon scored in his second game back against Colorado in typical bottom six fashion. #15 cleaned up a rebound while charging the crease.
Two games later he got on the board again on the penalty kill.
Gordon skated the puck out of the defensive zone after blocking a Dougie Hamilton shot and fired an innocuous pass to Jordan Martinook on the far wing. The speedy rookie skated into the offensive zone and sauced a laser cross-ice to Boyd Gordon who batted it out of the air and past Joni Ortio for a shorthanded goal.
It’s fair to say Mr. Gordon doesn’t have a plethora of highlight reel goals he can put that shortie up against.
He does have a lot of drive, determination, and willingness to do the thankless things that win hockey games. Sometimes that goes unnoticed.
Mike Smith felt he needed a little recognition. Well done.