The Arizona Coyotes beat the powerful Washington Capitals on Saturday night at Gila River Arena, shutting down the dangerous Alex Ovechkin, AKA the “Great 8.”
Mission accomplished, Arizona Coyotes! One down and five to go.
It was with a great deal of pride that loyal Coyotes fans watched their home town, Kachina-clad heroes play a spectacular game in front of a sell-out crowd at GRA on Saturday night.
They always knew the talent and ability were there, but the will to compete and play in a structured, disciplined fashion and win critical games continued to lurk somewhere beneath the surface.
Lo and behold, the ‘Yotes’ played their hearts out, engaging in some consistently-effective defensive hockey as a unit as they are wont to do. It was awesome to see the boys in black play as a group in the “D” zone and then transition through the neutral zone to ultimately cause some problems for the talented and aggressive Capitals’ defense in their own end. When all was said and done, goalkeeper Antti Raanta played well and certainly had reinforcements in limiting the star-studded Caps’ attackers to a single goal.
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Next up are the New York Islanders, who play the Coyotes in a matinee game on President’s Day at Gila River Arena. We recently shared that the results of the ‘Yotes’ next 6 games, which started with that fabulous win against Washington, would most likely set the stage for the remainder of the Coyotes’ quest for the playoffs.
The ‘Yotes currently have 66 points, and grabbing no less than 4 more points in those remaining 5 games is essential to their goal of reaching the post season. A tall order, of course, yet with another solid performance by the Desert Dogs at GRA tomorrow just like the fans witnessed on Saturday, the focused, collective efforts of the Coyotes can end with another two points.
The Coyotes will travel to play the Dallas Stars and St.Louis Blues on a brief road trip next week, and winning at home on Monday afternoon could provide the springboard to success as they carry their mojo out of state. The Coyotes “awoke” at a critical time in their season, and running on all cylinders throughout the last month and a half will be necessary.
The ‘Yotes only have 21 games remaining, including the tilt with the Islanders. After the final handful of games against their Eastern Conference foes, the majority of their opponents are in the Western Conference. Now’s the time to stack some more points, boys, one game at a time. Let’s go Coyotes!