Coyotes Rumor Roundup – Jan. 2014

January 30, 2014

The Coyotes looked great against the Kings with Greiss pitching a shutout. Going with the hot hand, Greiss is in again tonight against the hapless, worst team in the NHL Sabres.

The Coyotes lost to the Sabres with the #ButtGoal last time and this time they need to be ready to rumble. With the Pens coming into town for a game that’s likely to be 110% capacity, it would be logical for everybody to look past the Sabres and get stung AGAIN. Heads up, boys.


DB of LA marketing ideas

DB of LA marketing ideas

Speaking of the Kings, their captain Dustin Brown, noting the wild success of OEL’s “OEL of Sweden” line of Herr Underkläder has decided to come up with his own line of underwear to generate some more revenue.

We hear he will be calling his new line of clothing “DB of LA”, not fearing the possible other interpretations of the initials “DB” at all. We applaud Mr. Brown for his ambition, although the first comps of him posing for his marketing campaign don’t really hit the mark.

We suggest, instead, he poses provocatively in his new undies with his knee out wide in a slewfooty fashion. Go with your strengths, DB!

But, good luck in the Olympics.

January 29, 2014

SHUTOUT number two for Mr. Greiss, this time against the hated LA Kings. Biz laid a smackdown on Nolan for a questionably high hit on Chippy (and probably for his cheap shot that knocked Rusty Klesla down to Portland), like he should have, while having a great game.

The whole team played the whole game like they wanted to win, it was a lot of fun to watch. Hits were happening everywhere and OEL was feeling his oats. Honestly, it rejuvenated hopes for the playoffs.

Greiss gets the start against the last place in the NHL Sabres, a classic “trap” game. We can assume he will be tightening up the newly invented anti-buttgoal strap for this game, since it was the Sabres that reaped the benefit of the booty last time.


Last night, we met a couple who came down from Calgary for the five game Coyotes home stand. They are Coyotes fans living in Calgary that followed the drama for years and stuck with it the entire time.

I neglected to get their names but cheers to you two, Calgary living Coyotes fans, it was great to meet you.


We’ve known the name change was coming for years, since it was written every agreement (AMULA) with Glendale since the failed Jamison deal. The announcement today, of course, resulted in a flurry of chirpy tweets from the usual suspects with “Nordiques” and “Seattle” references.

For people that were supposedly paying attention to the Glendale happenings all these years, it’s amazing the announcement has taken the trolliverse by surprise.

Uniforms stay the same (I hope the third roadkill coyote is changed) but the PHX shoulder patch will change and be unveiled at the first preseason game next year. Let’s get those license plates done next.

January 28, 2014

Support the Bell Let’s Talk initiative for our Canadian friends, it’s a multi-year charitable program dedicated to mental health and all it takes is adding a #BellLetsTalk hashtag to your tweets today. I could easily slot in a Canadian Coyotes troll chirp here inferring that if the initiative is successful all of the Coyotes troll donkeys will fade away. But, I won’t.


Tonight is the Kings. Enough said except #BeatLA. Doaner has a shot at his 500th assist tonight, we’ll all chime in loudly at the rink when he knocks Brown over and saucers a pass to Boeds. Another #Vermettetrick would be good, too, especially if the Korpi/Vermy shorty machine cranks up for another one.


January 24, 2014

Tonight is the Oilers, the Coyotes haven’t lost in regulation in a few years at Rexall Place, so the Oilers have been something of a points bank for the Coyotes. Hopefully Marty is in the lineup tonight, maybe Schlemko comes back and the Coyotes don’t help another team break a slump or continue a streak. The Coyotes will finish up their Western Canada swing with a shot at picking up two points on the Canuckleheads for a Wild Card spot. Then they return to face the Blackhawks, Penguins, Kings, Stars and Sabres. Note the Stars are right on the Coyotes tails (ONE point behind) for a playoff spot with two games in less than a week against the Coyotes. This would be the perfect time to get the ball rolling. It’s no secret GMDM is working the phones hard for some missing pieces to make that happen. There’s a lot of sentiment that “there’s plenty of time left in the season” and “we’re only six points out of the playoffs” and “there are games in hand”. All of that is true. What’s also true, unfortunately, is that the other teams that can do math are winning games to either stay just out of reach or sneak up behind. Really, only the Flames (who the Coyotes just lost to) and the Oilers are likely “out of it”. The other tangible truth is there is simply something “not there” with the team. I honestly don’t know what it is, it looks deeper than the “missing left winger” or “stay at home defenseman” thing. Giddyup, Coyotes!

Coyotes in Edmonton (from Phoenix Coyotes Twitter feed)

Coyotes in Edmonton (from Phoenix Coyotes Twitter feed)

 

January 23, 2014

The Coyotes dropped another one, this time to the Flames in Calgary. The team has a 3-8-0 record in January and is four points out of the playoffs with their “games in hand” dwindling and teams climbing up behind them. Doaner got a goal and the new shorty snipefest team of Korpi and Vermette managed to get 50 his second shorty in a row. Also, this happened. Other than that, the Coyotes gave up 3 goals to a team that only scored 4 in their last seven games and gave up a win to end the Flames seven game home losing streak. Lines were jiggled, but there’s just not enough going in the net. Fingers are pointing different places each game with Smitty (won 2 of his last 10 played) and Yandle (sporting a -16) and Ribeiro (started the game on the fourth line) gathering the brunt of the boos. Pretty soon those fingers are going to be pointed at coaches and the GM because that’s the way professional sports works. Tomorrow are the Oilers with Bryzy in goal and then the other half of the punchfest, the Canucks.


 

 

January 21, 2014

The Coyotes dropped another one at home, this time to the Leafs. They played pretty well, though. The Norway Men’s curling squad? The definition of YES. Their gear is so cool it has it’s own Facebook page.

 

January 20, 2014

After yesterday’s “classless jerk” versus “normal for a pro athlete” social media debates triggered at the end of NFC Championship game, there was a brief similar flutter after the morning skate at the Ice Den. I won’t “go there”, but we do have a few stories about Coyotes pro athletes today. The morning skate before this evening’s tilt against the streaking Leafs (not nudie streaking, although Lupul IS in town, see JVR tweet below) was pretty packed with spectators. Despite the “no hockey in the desert” crowd’s constant chirps, a school holiday and a bunch of hockey games being played at the Ice Den in Scottsdale meant the practice rink was full. bizsignaturePlayers often stop on their way to the locker room after practice. I imagine facing a throng of fans after working up a sweat in practice isn’t the first thing you’d want to see. But, Coyotes players and staff are usually really good about spending time with their fans. Paul BissonnetteShirt for us (that will end up in Red Wings territory). 15 year old guys wearing suits and carrying hockey bags (after playing in a tourney game) that posed for a picture or two with Biz. He was in no hurry and chatted it up with everybody there. Greiss signed a little kid’s jersey then had to kneel down for a picture with a kid who was maybe 3. Szwarz stopped and proudly displayed the fresh stitches on his chin. Sean Burke stopped and signed some cards. Rundblad had a brief chat in Swedish. Shane Doan stopped and talked with every single kid that was in the building waiting to see him as he walked past on his way to the locker room. That’s maybe fifty kids. On his way through the warming area, he stopped to chat with three girls (maybe 9-11) that had been selling 50/50 tickets for the Stryker family at the tournament. He signed some 50/50 receipts for them, because they were a little unprepared. One of the girls reached out and was touching different parts of Doaner’s uniform; shoulder pads, elbow, stick, glove. Since that’s not expected behavior, 19 asked her “What’s up?” She replied “I think that if I touch you, you’ll have good luck tonight.” Doaner said: “Okay, TOUCH!” Our Captain.


More information on the “streaking Leafs”:

 

January 19, 2014

Another win for the Coyotes last night against the Devils with their iconic Brodeur and Jagr on the ice. Neither was up to the task to beating a Coyotes team that is gathering Mojo daily. Winning is way more fun than losing and we had a blast yesterday. It was Coach Tippett’s 100th win for the Coyotes and 450th as an NHL coach.


Let’s leave a Pacific Division guaranteed spot off our radar for now even though the Coyotes picked up a point on the Pacific playoff bottom rung Kings with one game in hand remaining for the Coyotes. Let’s get one of the Wild Card spots, then gun for the hated Kings after the Olympic break. Both the Canucks and Wild are now only two full games (four points) ahead of the Coyotes. The Canucks have played two games more than the Coyotes and the Wild have played three. Those games in hand can now pay off with another home game for the Coyotes Monday against the Leafs who are riding a four game win streak. You’re going to be at that game being loud, right? We’re bringing an American flag, can’t have the patriotic Canadians beating us out with their Maple Leaf and easy to sing anthem. It’s the last game before a quick swing through Western Canada looking for better results this time. Hopefully the Canucks and Flames are even further off their games after their idiotic dance last night. The Canuckleheads are likely to be without their head coach on the bench, as well.


Cheesy Mac and RibThe Coyotes are tweaking their entire fan experience and lots of people like it, it’s the little stuff that adds up, build loyalty and fills the arena.

          • The new chirping videos on the scoreboard screens are the best. I’m not sure who’s responsible, but everybody like the edge and it shows that the guys in the owners suite get it. It will be interesting to see if they get rougher or tamer as the teams the ownership group are “ex-fans” of roll through town.

 

        • Tailgating is improved, there’s changes every time and the Coyotes are really zeroing in on it. If you haven’t participated, show up early for the next Saturday game on February 1 against the Penguins. Get there early, that game will certainly be sold out.

 

 

        • Lot G was set up with all kinds of stuff in a sort of “midway” fashion, it works.

 

 

        • The band yesterday was fine even though Dan Bickley was playing (I think, it could have been lip synch and air guitar).

 

 

        • The food trucks are a great idea. Great. We hit two trucks yesterday. I had a Traveling Monk beer brat on a really hot pita with a little sauerkraut. It was perfectly cooked and delicious. My better half had a Grilled Cheese Truck cheesy mac and rib sandwich. I’ll be honest, it went down to a shootout but the grilled cheese won.

 

 

        • The @phoenixcoyotes Twitterer has stepped up his or her game recently, too. Today they tweeted a link to a howling ringtone, good stuff, go get it! Of course, you also need the official Nebulous Verbosity Black Keys “Howlin’ For You” ringtone, as well. Click here.

 

 


Szwarz had his mug sliced open by an errant skate, got stitched, played more and then did a skateup interview with Walshy after the game, bleeding a pool of “his own blood” on the ice while doing so. Hanging around after the game with the cool kids, we were reminded by @derwoood20 of the great NHL ads of yore. Let’s bring them back. http://youtu.be/eS52bRZ0pQU

January 17, 2014

Martin Hanzal was fined $5,000 for his high stick of Booth last night, having spent four minutes in the box for the infraction. The late in the third period during a game the Coyotes were leading by one goal penalty was stress inducing for everybody watching, no to mention Booth and for Smitty looking for a shutout. We love you, Marty, and realize you’re the big shutdown center that plays against everybody else’s top lines. We know Booth was coming in on you fast to hit you hard after the puck was long gone. That said, I hope you accept this small fine as your NHL mulligan and understand that every zebra in the league will now be watching your stickwork VERY closely for the foreseeable future.


THAT’S MORE LIKE IT! Granted, the Coyotes didn’t destroy the Canuckleheads 9-1 last night, but we’ll take a 1-0 shutout for a lot of reasons:

          • Mike Smith looked like Smitty while pitching his first shutout of the year. He looked so much like Smitty that he even cleared the puck bouncing it off the wall past two Canuckleheads loitering on the boards waiting for an opportunity exactly like that.

 

        • Z came back and skated sixteen minutes, including six short handed. The PK has been one of the most glaring issues with the faltering Coyotes and last night, the first with Z in the lineup doing his Z thing, they killed all the (way too many) penalty minutes.

 

 

        • Last night was the first time the team was completely healthy in like forever, a win capped it off perfectly.

 

 


Our fan challenge to the Jets fans (to play some hockey when the come her in April) that might be making the trip remains unanswered except with unfunny comments and some babbling from a local crackpot. I’ll admit MAYBE the challenge had some chirpy language in it. Does it need to be more polite so as not to offend the sensibilities of Jets fans? Perhaps they’re a sensitive crowd and need more “validation” (or something) in a legitimate invitation? I don’t know, they need to open up and share their feelings so we can accept them for who they are and empower them with holistic self-actualizing snynergistic energy. Or something. Or maybe they’re afraid of losing to the “no hockey in the desert” people in their national sport after chirping relentlessly for over four years about it? I don’t know, but I do know American Jimmy Fallon owned Canadian Drake even though he whined about the last goal not being “fair”. Whoop whoop! http://youtu.be/rkkmxbYjX48

January 16, 2014

Another big game tonight, but Z is back! So the PK should be closer to normal. Of course the Canucks got creamed last night in Disneyland by the scary Ducks, 9-1, yes NINE. So they will be fired up like the hapless Jets were in Winnipeg. So, be there. darcy


Our hockey game challenge (click here) to the Winnipeg people that are coming down for the Jets game in April has fallen on deaf ears. Nobody wants to play, nobody has accepted the challenge. There’s been typical blowback from the typical troll types, but nobody wants to make arrangements. It’s funny they’ve embraces a woman from Phoenix as their spokesperson. Well, she actually splits time with Arizona and Illinois. Anyway, after making an appearance at the Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday for a typical rant after her hubby did the same (offering his parking lot car count), she decided to comment on our challenge. Of course, like everything else, she misunderstood, thinking we were talking about street hockey. While we’d be happy to whomp on the Winnipeg crew on an inline rink here, we were actually planning to get an ICE rink. Oh well.

January 15, 2014

Last night was a much better showing from the Coyotes against the high horsepower Blues. It didn’t result in a win, though, so it doesn’t go in the victory column regardless of the level of play. OEL and Yandle together on the PP should frighten opposing teams, though. TOMORROW is a game at home against the Canucks, who currently are sitting three full games ahead of the Coyotes for a Wild Card playoff spot. A regulation time win knocks off one of those games (bringing it to two) and the Coyotes still have one game “in hand” to help out. If you aren’t planning to come to the game, you should think about changing those plans because this is a HUGE game and the Coyotes look like they’re ready to blow out of their slump. Here’s what George Gosbee had to say this morning:

 


I stole this regarding the Captain (during last night’s game) from Facebook, follow @propspony and go see Mystère the next time you’re in Vegas: Just watched a little girl in a coyotes third jersey, hanging over the glass with her hand out hoping for a high five as the team filed by. Not a single player so much as looked at her, except for Shane Doan, who gave her a smile and fist bump. #BestCaptainEver Doaner NEVER misses. Ever.

January 14, 2014

Wow, huh? Happily we had last night’s game on the DVR and the fast forward button, as they say in the gearhead magazines, fell readily to hand. Losing to what should be a worse team is bad enough, but to those guys? Geez. Penalties didn’t help, nor did letting drunk boater Buff crash Smitty every time he felt like it. After the first time it was apparent the zebras weren’t calling it, so somebody else should have sucked it up and whacked big Buff on the chin. That wouldn’t have stopped the carnage, of course. The reJets fans hate the Coyotes, they had a new coach to impress, and the Coyotes have something sucking the life out of their ambition. I asked James Earl Jones how much he hated losing to the dorky Jets. http://youtu.be/uZYXWfSnDSA Click here for Sarah’s take. Tonight is the St. Louis Blues in their house, those guys have some real horsepower with a 17-3-2 record at home. A win would go a long way toward starting a turnaround.

January 13, 2014

Untitled-2The hapless Thrashers semi-rebooted Jets finally fired their coach, so they will be looking to show their stuff to the new boss (Paul Maurice). If you’re in Winnipeg and want to go, there’s still plenty of tickets left a couple hours before the game, so click here to grab some. The Coyotes are 13-2-1 against tonight’s opponent. But they haven’t yet won in the (arena the government helped build before they handed the deed and property tax breaks and free gambling revenue to True North) MTS Centre. Another big game tonight, this one isn’t because of a scary good opponent, it’s because of bragging rights and payback for years of ridiculous chirps like this classic bit (from 2010!) of wacky frostbitten “logic” from one of the donkey kings (courtesy FFH):

None of you know how to skate

By mcmikex on May 11 2010, 10:01p 95

 

This is our game and your arrogant millionaires took it from us. We play hockey. We are hockey. There are more players in the NHL from Manitoba than there are season ticket holders in Phoenix. No one needs to market this game to us. There is not a single player in the NHL that has ever come from Arizona. In typical American style, you used borrowed money to take our team from us and keep our team from coming home. No wonder that you’re all drowning in debt. I hope you fatsos (and most of you are fat) all choke on your debt, and while your choking, I hope that the Saudis buy your baseball team, your basketball team and your “football” team, then let them rot in their desert. Keep the team. I hope they bleed your taxpayers dry so that your bigoted politicians have less money to fund their hateful, racist agendas. You are a loathsome bunch of fatsos.

The above is typical of troll logic and language. This by NO MEANS implies that everybody in Winnipeg is as much of a donkey as Mikey. If the truth is to be told, in our travels north of the border we’ve never run into one person in Canada that was less than cool. Except in Quebec, of course. So, from this loathsome fatso to Mikey, when you and your buddies come down from the frozen wastelands to Arizona to watch your reJets lose on April Fool’s day, bring your hockey gear if you can still fit into it. We’ll get some ice time on one of the local rinks, assuming you and yours “man up” in time, and you and your pals can see how us loathsome fatsos play hockey. Hint: you’ll be owned. Badly and completely. BTW Mikey, there’s pictures of you on the interwebs in your stylish bathing costume (and some where you’re wearing a dress!). You might want to lay off both the Timbits and the fat jokes until you drop some lard.

January 12, 2014

The Winnipeg Jets are, apparently, so afraid of being destroyed by the Coyotes (despite a great record at the government assisted MTS Centre) that they dumped their head coach in favor of the Hurricanes ex-coach Paul Maurice. Click here.


Another ugly game from the Coyotes last night against the league leading Ducks. Another goalie chased from a game, this time it was Greiss chased instead of Smitty. After the game, the locker room interviews were full of blame taking from Tippett, Yandle and Doan. There was no lack of the same in the stands as everybody filed out toward the parking lots; plenty of “told you so” about the goalie change, lots of trade Yandles, lots of grumbling in general.


New Yorker jabs Nordiques fans

New Yorker jabs Nordiques fans

I admit I have no clue what the fix is, although as a non-expert hockey fan I would like to see two general things. Please, somebody, take up position in front of the opposing goalie, twerk him if necessary, and screen him while being ready to clean up the rebounds? Second, since the blueline guys have been off their feed, can the forwards close the gaps with the opposition more and at least give their shooters less space to make their shots? Thank you.


GMDM discusses getting better through the free market discussing a thin trade list, click here. Click here for Sarah’s story on last night’s game. Click here for Craig’s story on last night’s game.


Connor Murphy is back in Portland. He impressed the hell out of me, for one, while he was here. He showed great poise and willingness to win battles for a 20 year old in the NHL. He should turn some protein into muskles while he’s in Maine.

January 11, 2014

Mike Smith out for tonight, Thomas Greiss is in for the red hot Ducks tonight with Jonas Hiller. Smitty only has three wins in his last 17 starts and Greiss pitched the only shutout of this Coyotes season (so far) the last time he played. Smitty is still the number one goalie, we can be sure. When you get the big check, you get the big target on your back. The only position in professional sports more “targety” than NHL goalie is NFL quarterback and, of course, whatever “that” position might be in soccer (if there is one). Watching games evaporate in the third period is tough, even Smitty haters have to see that he is not close to being “the” problem with that result. Keep in mind the Coyotes are ahead of their Division winning year pace, although realignment and unbelievably consistent Pacific opponents is a new wrinkle. WAY too early to jump off the Coyotes wagon and, in fact, it’s a great time to jump ON while you can. #BattleHowl plug goes here. The arena should be in danger of losing the roof tonight, be there or be square. This is a good chance to hang out, do some tailgating, maybe play some ball hockey, and get loud. Boedker is playing in his 300th game tonight!! Wow. Time is flying. Five Chirbit minutes from Coach Tippett via Walshy. Note Sarah working Tippett hard on Z and his status. Five For Howling’s game preview for this evening.

 

 

January 10, 2014

Anthony LeBlanc was on KJZZ today talking attendance and such. Click here.


Sorry, I understand this is pretty trolly. But it’s classic for people who have been around the #Coyotes hashtag on Twitter for any time and have heard how tough it is to get a Jets ticket so the Coyotes suck. From earliest to latest:

 

 

 

 


The Coyotes outskated the Wild for most of the game last night and, once again, came up short. This was a big one, letting the Wild leapfrog into the final playoff spot. Sure, there’s still plenty of season, but… The only fingers I’ve seen pointed were at the usual suspects, Yandle and Smith. Yandle was a -3 last night with a little over 24 minutes of play, the worst on the team, but… The first goal was a “dammit Yandle” that’s getting a lot of attention because #3 turned it over in his zone. He did, with an intercepted backhand shot aimed out after he got to the puck that arrived in his zone because it got past #53 covering the corner of the OTHER blue line. The pass out of the zone was pressured by Cooke skating past #63 unchecked. #3 got it past Cooke pressuring him but it was intercepted by an uncovered Fontaine crossing the blue line at speed as the Wild now had a 3 on 2 with #53 reaching his zone behind the play on the other side of the ice. #3 got between Fontaine and #41 and committed to block a shot from Fontaine while #63 was passed again by Cooke gliding past him to work a rebound or take a pass. #41 is watching the play, but is layed out flat on his belly by the time Fontaine shoots it past #3. Cooke’s shot goes over #41’s glove that can’t get high enough off the ice to stop it. The only defenseman in the defensive zone cleared the puck past the first threat (Cooke) but didn’t make it past the uncovered second threat (Fontaine) so that goal’s on him? The second goal came after the Wild broke out of their zone on a bad pass in the offensive zone from #34 into the skates of #12 headed toward the goal line. The rebound off the skate went to #14 but was mishandled and picked up by the Wild with #3 and #53 between them and the Coyotes zone for a 2 on 2. #3 misses his check on Brodziak who had been chipped the puck by Cooke. Brodziak skates unmolested down the ice (#3 and #53 swap coverage sides for #53 to try to get Brodziak and #3 cover Cooke) and shoots it low glove side past an unscreened #41. The third goal was on a power play with Murphy sitting in the box. Pominville chips the puck up onto the glass to get it into the zone past #16 who is cutting off his entry into the zone. The puck takes a crazy bounce off the glass and rebounds in front of the net. #41 is behind the net looking to cut off what he thinks will be Pominville’s wraparound and he dives to try to prevent Fontaine (covered by a diving #50) from scoring. He fails as does #26 trying to get his stick in the way. The fourth goal was an empty netter to allow a hat trick. The Coyotes scored one goal on 40 shots (the Wild had 28), Boedker (now leading the Coyotes in goals scored) from Doan and Stone on a power play. The only glaring miss I remember was #19 shooting it inches over a wide open net, the play lined up perfectly with the viewing angle from my seat and I KNEW it was a goal. We can chalk that miss up to rust on the recently returned Captain’s game. There isn’t much other rust, he played over 17 minutes and looked good doing it. OEL was a beast in his return game, chewing up over 27 minutes of ice time and ending up -1. The standard knock after a disappointing loss like this is on defense, mostly on the D corps and significantly less on forward responsibility for defense. Offensive numbers appear to support the argument that the offense is clicking. It’s not, really. Over the past how many games (including last night) have the Coyotes been stymied by a “hot goalie” in the court of public opinion? The six goal drubbing (even though it was the Coyotes only shutout of the year) of the Flames skew the offensive numbers, as does the unsustained offensive streak at the beginning of the season. In my opinion, it’s everybody, it’s a team sport and the team needs to figure this out fast. I mean, the Ducks hit our ice tomorrow. They are lighting up the NHL. Click here for Sarah’s take, click here for Craig’s.

January 9, 2014

Hockey and skating has taken another jump forward in the Valley with Ice Den acquiring Polar Ice in Chandler. Ice Den is owned by the Burke family, former owners of the Coyotes that know what it takes to run a successful business based upon skating in Arizona. Click here for the information. If you’ve never been to the Ice Den in North Scottsdale, take a ride over there and see what they have going on. Maybe even time your visit to coincide with a Coyotes practice. You’ll have fun and come away impressed with the job they do. We think the professionalism factor jumped considerably for the facility in Chandler with this sale. Ice Den just added on to their North Scottsdale facility and they will be instrumental in growing the game in Arizona. More kids will have a better chance to learn hockey, and old slow adults can pretend they are winning the Stanley Cup. Win-win. Remember that there has been a low buzz about trying to bring the WJC here to the Valley. What would be needed to make that happen? Some more quality sheets of ice. I’m just sayin’. Coyotes fans should applaud this move and go visit the Ice Den in either location.


Coyotes play by play announcer Matt McConnell (@MattyCoyotesTV) won his first National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) Sportscaster of the Year Award. High fives from everybody that sees him at the rink tonight are in order. Congratulations, Matt!


Read Craig Morgan’s piece on Jeff Halpern today (click here), good stuff.


Another HUGE game tonight against the Wild with the Ducks following on Saturday. You should be there. The Coyotes need to stand on the Wild’s neck to keep them down. The Wild are tied with the Coyotes at 41 points, right now the only reason the Coyotes remain in the final wild card spot is they have some games in hand. Tonight is the night to break the deadlock on HOME ICE IN REGULATION, put the Wild back in the dust and then start gunning for the Canucks. The Coyotes had the look of a team that was ready to chip away at their deficits and move up the standings. Once the Canucks are passed, it’s on to the hated LA Kings. Sarah has the lines for tonight:

Then she corrected the multiple Murphy thing and revealed that she has, indeed, left the Great White North behind and become a “Zonie”. Cold fingers? Puleeeeeze!

OEL is back and Mike Smith is in goal. #BattleHowl

Shameless plug

grow_the_game_webJoin Desert Hockey Development for our first official kids clinic on Saturday, January 25. We’ll be teaching ball hockey, safety, all the basics and then offering people the chance to try inline skating on a real inline “court” with lines, boards, nets and the whole works. Afterwards we’ll have some hot dogs, chips and sports drinks for the kids. Everything is FREE. Click here for even information. We’re hoping to do this every two weeks if the demand is there. We feel certain there’s a need for a program like this, we’d love for you to join us with your kids or your time and effort.

January 8, 2014

Wow that was a fun game! If you weren’t there, you missed something that would have made your Wednesday better. You missed the five Coyotes going to the Olympics get a well deserved big round of applause. You also missed a drubbing of the Calgary Flames 6-0. Smitty sat one out to savor his wife’s sole possession of bragging rights of being the only one in the house (unless her mom was visiting) to represent her country in the Olympics. So backup goalie Griess nailed a shutout. Smitty will likely be back for the Wild game tomorrow. While they were at it, Korpi decided to shut up some doubters with a three point performance and Boeds did the same with two points. And, oh yeah, the returned Captain invented a new way to score with his shoulder. The Coyotes called it a “wrist shot” in the game recap. Upper wrist? So Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan are now tied for the lead in goals (13) scored for the Coyotes. One more than Evgeni Malkin. Also with two points last night were Doan and Ribeiro. Shane Doan and Keith Yandle decided to do something like dancing after the game to celebrate the win. It was some sort of modified “raise the roof” thing. Keep your day jobs, guys. Okay all of that was fun, but Thursday is the “not the Flames” Wild and then Saturday is the “also not the Flames” Ducks at home. The heat is on the team, they’re feeling good and know they need to put a beating on both teams on home ice. Saw a hashtag for the howling that’s becoming more popular now, #BattleHowl. I think it’s better than the other hashtag #RallyHowl I’ve seen, mostly because it sounds more intimidating and works in more circumstances. After extensive and time-consuming research, I discovered #Coyotes uber-fan Kate coined the phrase.

 


Carter Nacke makes a case for Paul Bissonnette earning a bigger spot on the team. Click here to read his “Off the Ice” piece. If you’ve watched @BizNasty2point0 for awhile, you’ve noticed he has been successfully working on his game. It should be apparent that he’s not been spending ALL his free time in Vegas or buying limited edition shirts and shoes, he’s been working with coaches and hitting the gym. Carter quotes the Captain: “He’s actually a pretty good player,” said Doan. “He’s a good player and doesn’t get the credit he deserves.” The Coach has said similar things. Along the same lines, Biz has a suggested addition to the Olympic roster:

 


In other news, the hot chocolate shortage continues at Tim Hortons. Some suspect disgruntled Winnipeg Jets fans have sabotaged the supply chain to unduly influence Coyotes fans hungering for a taste of the Great White North. Happily, the coffee continues to flow freely.

January 3, 2014

 

This Guy Is BACK Saturday!

This Guy Is BACK Saturday!

The BJ’s MacKenzie suspended 3 games for boarding OEL, knocking him out of the game last night and maybe tomorrow’s game, too. Click here for suspension video. That’s probably about right, now will the refs have to sit through some additional boarding penalty instruction?


Did we mention Doaner will likely be on the ice against the Flyers? If you don’t have tickets, you need to get them and prepare for a five minute standing ovation when the Captain is introduced.


Good news? Z was out for practice and skating hard this morning. Considering the only two points scored last night were while the Coyotes were on the PK, that’s really good news. Bad news? OEL has not hit the ice for practice.

The Captain had a doctor’s appointment yesterday after a full practice. We hear he spent the entire time asking the docs “Can I skate Saturday? Hey doc, can I skate Saturday? Can I play this weekend? Am I cleared to play? How’s it look, doc, I’m good to go, right? I feel good, can I go now? Hey do you need the coach’s phone number to call him and tell him I’m okay?” **UPDATE** Looks like maybe it worked!

 

 


Wow that was an ugly game last night. On to the Flyers, hopefully we have OEL back after he was splattered in an uncalled boarding from Derek MacKenkzie. At least MacKenzie will have a phone (initially reported as an in-person) hearing with Shanahan for his cheap shot, probably a 2 game suspension. Of course the BJ’s announcers called it a “good hard hit” and blamed OEL for not being aware of his surroundings. OEL who is as hockey savvy at his age as anyone most of us have seen. Wear a miniskirt and you should expect to be raped? We’ve got a video we yanked from the DVR last night, it’s VERY clear MacKenzie wound up on Ollie and splattered him on purpose. http://youtu.be/4R-QzQPetmU

January 2, 2014

Smitty gets the nod for tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets. He’s the starting goalie, being pulled from the Oilers game in favor of Greiss wasn’t a sign of anything other than that game needed a shakeup and maybe Smitty was off that night. Greiss admirably did what a backup goalie is supposed to do, come into a game in a difficult situation and stop the bleeding.


Shane Doan was on the ice today and left late, taking some extra shots on Greiss. Did his normal “we love this guy” Captain thing on the way off the ice, apologizing to the kids there saying he couldn’t hang out because he had a doctor appointment. I was guessing we wouldn’t get Doaner back until after the Olympic break, he contracted something that’s really nasty and debilitating. I figured that even his work ethic and drive to get back to leading the team wouldn’t be enough to override real physical problems and careful doctors. Now I’m less sure, 19 is really pushing hard.


Keith Yandle reacts to not making the Olympic team this time around. Click here for a Walshy chirbit.


US Juniors team got into a bunch of penalty trouble and the Russian team capitalized to knock the current gold medal team out of contention in the quarterfinals.

January 1, 2014

USA Hockey Selection Committee

USA Hockey Selection Committee

US Olympic defensemen are Carlson, Faulk, Fowler, Martin, McDonagh, Orpik, Shattenkirk and Suter. No names that sound like Yandle. That’s really disappointing considering Yandle’s performance and leadership with the Coyotes. Remember how big the Olympic ice is and how many minutes Yandle eats and how crazy fast he skates? Doesn’t matter I guess. I guess they want stay at home defensemen, play it safe for the Olympics. There’s something to be said for defensemen that are, admittedly, safer than Keith Yandle. Everybody knows Yands will jump down the ice at a moment’s notice, sometimes he gets burned and sometimes it’s hard to watch. What a lot of people don’t know is that the reputation Yands has for brain fart turnovers and the like is belied by his play and his work ethic. If you hadn’t watched video closely for awhile, you’d think Yandle was a torpedo that often exploded in his own zone. That’s not true anymore, and is supported by looking at the guy on the selection committee that is most familiar with Keith Yandle being his biggest champion in the arguments. The plus side of essentially having another winger and QB for plays is offset by the minus of being exposed to offensive pressure not being met head on by a static defenseman. Personally, I think that’s a few years behind the hockey curve, I think the game has changed. I think the recently fired Brian Burke doesn’t like Yandle. I don’t think Burke was fired for his spectacular work in Toronto, though I may be mistaken. The Penguins coach who is now coaching Team USA may be afraid to open himself up for putting a Penguinslike offense is all that matters attack based team (with the arguably best offensive D man in the NHL) on the ice for the USA in the Olympics. And no Bobby Ryan either. Weird. Scott Burnside lays it all out in his story on the US Olympic team selection process, a well done and must read story for US hockey fans. Click here. The guy on the selection committee, LA Kings’ Dean Lombardi, that knows Yandle best was a staunch supporter of getting Yandle on the team. He argued his case vehemently, apparently to the point of being a joke for Burke. He was overruled. We gothcer back, Keith. We know you really wanted to represent your country and there’s no upside to being left out other than you don’t have to wear the poorly designed USA hockey sweater. USA note via Rich Nairn: Keith Yandle is tied for second with 21 assists and tied for second with 14 powerplay points.


Lyndsey Fry from Chandler, Arizona is now on the USA women’s Olympic hockey team. Follow her on Tweetyface @fry_X_cycle Oh yeah, she’s a Harvard lady. Do some Googling and reading about Lyndsey, you’ll appreciate her even more. Click here for an ESPN piece, for starters. Go get ’em, Lyndsey, we’ll got a loud crowd waiting for you at the rink when you get back.

 


If you were anywhere near Glendale and didn’t make it to the Coyotes game last night, you blew it and should take steps to be sure you don’t make such a mistake again. Ticket agents standing by to make your life better.

The 50/50 was huge, the crowd was OVERFLOWING for the second sellout in a row, and Coyotes Charities scored big time with their sweater auctions.

For starters, the Oilers started Ilya Bryzgalov, the ex-Coyotes goalie that didn’t leave many friends behind when he packed up the Aston Martin for a lucrative stop in Philadelphia. When the Flyers got sick of Bryz, they bought out his ridiculous contract and sent him packing. He ended up in Edmonton on a one year contract, he played the game last night with a plain white goalie mask. Mr. Commitment.

It was also telling to see exactly zero Coyotes players chatting with Bryz at the centerline during warmups.

So, do you think it was SCHWEET for Keith Yandle to bury the overtime winner on his buddy Bryz with 6.5 seconds left on the overtime period clock AFTER coming back from a deficit to tie the game at 3?

Was it EVER.

I’m not bitter, and don’t hold grudges, I just appreciate irony more than most.

Or maybe I just hold grudges.