Arizona Coyotes Win Weird, Sloppy Game vs Anaheim Ducks

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Coyotes won an amazingly wild and ugly affair against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday Night. Can’t wait for the encore on Wednesday!

The first period of last night’s Arizona Coyotes game was one of the worst I’ve ever personally witnessed as a Coyotes fan. Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider described those agonizing 20 minutes perfectly: “The Coyotes were a hot mess of unstructured, undisciplined, listless play.” And those were the positives! Joking aside, the Yotes couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone and spent most of the period defending against a Ducks team not known for having much offense.

Throughout the game there were fights, penalties galore (including four minutes assessed to goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper), plenty of hard hits that included the nightly abusing of Conor Garland, and seven goals scored.

I’ll admit that I found the fighting by the Coyotes a breath of fresh air not from the stand point of the violence but rather by showing that they are emotional and passionate about their play on the ice and about defending their teammates.

It was indeed a feast for any old-style hockey fan, but one that didn’t necessarily sit well in the guts of the Coyotes’ faithful or Coach Rick Tocchet. Why not? Because if the Desert Dogs play as sloppily against the soon-to-visit Colorado Avalanche as they did on Monday, the team might come apart at the seams. Sure, there were plenty of heroics in the latter stages of the game that ultimately earned the Coyotes the win, but falling behind by 3 goals against the Anaheim Ducks is not the best way to gain confidence in your system or structure going forward.

The Arizona Coyotes were already down a goal to the Anaheim Ducks less than 5 minutes into the first period, which is really not that unusual for the Desert Dogs. The Coyotes proceeded to fall further behind and were once down 3 to 0 early in the second period when Christian Dvorak was taken down during a short-handed breakaway and scored on the ensuing penalty shot by beating Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson up high.

That nifty play evidently stoked the Yotes’ fire enough to get better organized and start competing with the Ducks in earnest. Based upon the early game disarray the Yotes showed on the ice, it seemed almost miraculous that the Coyotes faithful were seeing a rare turnaround that resulted in 4 unanswered goals scored by the home town boys. How’s that for erasing a deficit!

The Ducks fans in attendance became quiet and subdued, always a nice thing for Coyotes fans to witness at Gila River Arena, and the boys in black pulled out a win. Amazing!

The Coyotes win was an aberration, definitely unexpected yet very much appreciated and satisfying. Let’s see if the team can get a better start on Wednesday night and carry their momentum forward. Let’s go Coyotes!