The ill-prepared, inconsistent Arizona Coyotes lost a game against the lowly Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. The results of their next six games will decide their playoff fate.
Who would have thought that the Coyotes would lose to the “nothing to play for but pride and a job” Ottawa Senators after two solid performances in Montreal and Toronto?
The Sens were aggressive from the get-go, and they appeared to be the team competing for a playoff spot, scoring two goals in about the first 3+ minutes. Amazing what some collective pride and concerted effort can do for a sports team.
Does anyone see a pattern and a few problems here? How can a playoff-seeking professional hockey club lack focus at the beginning of games and end up chasing them for the remainder of the contest?
It was difficult to watch the lack of leadership on Thursday night, a real “horizontal head shaker” for sure. That performance took the wind right out of Coyotes’ fans’ sails for sure, and left them with a sick feeling as the ‘Yotes are by all indications about to get clobbered by a very good Washington Capitals team on Saturday, and most likely by the powerful New York Islanders on Monday.
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The Coyotes then travel to Texas and to Missouri for games against the Dallas Stars and Champion St. Louis Blues respectively before returning on Saturday, February 22 to play the Tampa Bay Lightning at GRA and then the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, February 25.
I certainly hope the Coyotes gather at least 6 points out of the next six games, but what are we to expect? The only real consistency is the ‘Yotes’ inconsistent play.
Who knows what team will take the ice on Saturday night, and how they will perform? We’ve all witnessed the fact that no one has consistently taken the bull by the horns (or the coyote by the leg) and shown passionate leadership on the ice. A nice blend of talented and skillful veterans and newbies is great when the group actually shows up and competes, but not when they are in disarray and apparently looking for someone else to show them the way!
You can’t teach speed and you can’t teach leadership. It’s innate and can be maximized, but either you have it or you don’t.
It would really be nice for an Arizona Coyote to step up and, whether he wants to or not, lead his team by example. It doesn’t have to be the captain, it can be anyone who will show some grit and determination, some fight and ultimately prove that you care. Play like the playoffs are at stake, not for pride or jobs – yet. Let’s go Coyotes!