For the second time in two weeks the Phoenix Coyotes played the Dallas Stars on the end of back-to-back games and lost again, this time 3-0.
After sweeping the Minnesota Wild for the first time in franchise history on Wednesday, the Phoenix Coyotes hit a rough patch of play to finish the week out and heading into the Olympic break.
Not only did the Coyotes get shutout for the second time this month by Marty Turco and the Stars Saturday night, but it looks like the right wing of the Czech Line, Petr Prucha, might miss some games after being taken off in a stretcher.
Prucha was hit by James Neal while up against the boards early in the first period, which some may have considered a bit dirty, but really Neal's elbow never lifted to Prucha's head. Prucha's head was ducked down and Neal's elbow was where it should normally be, therefore in my eyes (A Coyotes fan), I don't think the hit was that dirty. It was unfortunate, but not dirty.
Its not good for the Coyotes that Prucha is going to be gone, but there have been a lot worse hits thrown with no punishment given, so don't expect anything to come from this.
Losing Prucha obviously took the wind out of the Coyotes, which allowed the Stars to take heavy advantage of. During one shift in the second period the lackluster Coyote defense allowed a Mike Ribiero breakaway and a Mike Ribiero-led 3-on-1, which resulted in a Jamie Benn goal.
Nothing at all went right for the Coyotes last night, and even the team MVP, Ilya Bryzgalov, looked shaky in comparison to the rest of his, so far, stellar season.
The same can be said for their game against the Colorado Avalanche the night before as they met a stone wall by the name of Craig Anderson, who stopped 33 shots to lead the Avs to a 2-1 victory. Rookie Matt Duchene scored both of Colorado's goals.
The Coyotes played extremely well that game, but just couldn't find a way to score on Craig Anderson. Again, the Coyotes lack of capable scoring haunted them in a game they could have won with how well their defense was playing.
During both games this weekend the team looked heavily fatigued after playing four games this past week, going 2-2.
The team will now head into the Olympic break, where they will watch three of their players participate for their countries, with a one point advantage over the Los Angeles Kings for fourth place in the Western Conference. One problem to that stat is that currently The Coyotes have played two more games then any other team from fifth to tenth place.
Hopefully this break will allow the vets to regroup and get a good rest so they can come back re-charged and ready to carry the city of Phoenix to its first White Out since 2002.
Go Yotes Go
About the Author
Written by Matt Shott
22 year old hockey fan born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Weird, huh? Entire family minus myself and my brother were born in Toronto, ON so thats how I became a fan of this great sport. I have worked at Ice rinks since I was 14 and spend all day reading hockey stories. I eat, sleep, coach, play, and basically LIVE hockey. I became a Red Wing fan thanks to EA Sports NHL '95 and haven't looked back since (Why would I?). Parents were Season Ticket holders for the Phoenix Coyotes since day 1 and when they moved to Portland 3 years ago, I picked up where they left off and have found a soft spot for them. I moved to Toronto in January '10 to attend Centennial College's Sports Journalism program, so I am becoming a Maple Leafs fan in the process. Its hard to do after 16 years of being a Red Wings fan. So to recap: Wings fan at heart, Leafs fan on the outside, and always carry a soft spot for the Coyotes.