The Arizona Coyotes battled the Colorado Avalanche to a happy ending on Tuesday night, and earned a very valuable two points in the process.
It should go without saying that whenever the Arizona Coyotes play the Colorado Avalanche, there will be plenty of scoring. Most often it will be in the Avs’ favor because their attacking players are more talented, they play disciplined hockey, and they are relentless.
As we witnessed on Tuesday night, however, the Yotes occasionally come out “a blazin'” with greater focus, a positive attitude, and revenge on their minds. Coyotes fans quickly learn that they never really know what to expect from their Desert Dogs on any given night, but they love ’em anyway and hope for the best.
It was Adin Hill versus the Avalanche’s Jonas Johansson in goal this night, and there were plenty of goals to be either enjoyed or cursed upon depending on one’s loyalty.
The Coyotes went up 1 to 0 early, with Jakob Chychrun scoring his ninth of the year just 1:25 into the game. Less than 4 minutes later, Alex Goligoski got his first of the season from a pinpoint pass from Phil Kessel. If a Goligoski goal wasn’t amazing enough, the potent Avalanche weren’t credited with their first shot on goal until 10 minutes into the contest.
As often happens with the Colorado boys, however, the tide turned against the home team fairly quickly, and before you could say “let’s go Yotes,” the game was tied at 2. With only 10 seconds left in the period, the Avs scored their third goal on a shot from Nathan MacKinnon, and at the time it seemed like a dagger was thrust through the heart of the Coyotes.
At 5:28 of the third period, Ryan Graves scored for Colorado, and it seemed to a lot of Yotes fans that Graves’ tally was unequivocally the beginning of the end for the Coyotes. Were you one of those chanting the “here we go again” mantra in your head, like moi? Well, to the contrary my friends, as Lawson Crouse blasted a rebound shot from Alex Goligoski past Jonas Johansson just 70 seconds after the Ryan Graves goal, and then Phil Kessel scored to tie the game at 4 on a shot from a nearly impossible angle that somehow made it past/through Johansson and into the net.
The game went into overtime, and Coyotes’ goalkeeper Adin Hill went into superman mode. Nick Schmaltz was penalized for slashing 2:11 into the OT period, so the Yotes defensive task got even tougher. To the rescue came Adin Hill, who made several phenomenal saves against the ever-aggressive Avalanche power play unit. Hill was by far the primary reason that the Yotes were able to sustain the Colorado onslaught and get to the shootout.
The Coyotes were up to the task to the very end and won the game in a shootout. It was quite a roller coaster ride for the team and fans alike, and the Arizona Coyotes now sit only 4 points behind the St. Louis Blues for a playoff spot.
While the Yotes play their next two games at home against the Sharks, the Blues play the Minnesota Wild, and the Anaheim Ducks twice, before playing the top three teams in the Honda West Division 8 times in a row in early April. That will be worth keeping an eye on!
It will be interesting to see if the Coyotes can ride Tuesday’s momentum and good fortune into Friday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Let’s go Coyotes!