Phoenix Coyotes

Print Share


The view from atop is magnificant

Before we get started on the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 shootout victory against the Dallas Stars and everything that came along with it, I would like to take a journey down memory lane to an article I wrote on January 23rd of this year.

The article discussed a recent home stand that put the Coyotes 13 points behind the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and I noted that it isn’t out of the realm of reality for the Coyotes to catch the Sharks.

Fast forward to March 21, 2010 and my “pipe dream”, as I referred to it, has become “reality” as the Phoenix Coyotes have taken their spot atop their division by defeating the Dallas Stars in the shootout Sunday night.

Re-read that last sentence again if you still don’t believe it, the Phoenix Coyotes, the team currently owned by the league, who was almost moved to Hamilton this summer, that has had attendance issues all season, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002 when they played at the US Airways Center wearing those hideous jerseys, are first place in the Pacific Division.

Go ahead and rain on my parade and say it may only be for one night and they could very well be dethroned by the Sharks during their next game, but right now this team is where NOBODY expected them to even get a whiff of at the beginning of the year, leading the Pacific Division.

But wait, it gets better.  Not only is Phoenix first place in the Pacific Division (You know what, I have said that a lot tonight, but I don’t care because it sounds amazing), but as of today they are also tied for first place in the Western Conference.

Sure the Blackhawks have played two less games, but its pretty amazing nonetheless.

The win tonight was also the team’s ninth straight victory, but you know no big deal when you think about where in the standings this winning streak has put the team.

Now for the minor problem fans of other teams might not be too happy about, and that is the amount of shootout victories for the Coyotes.  During the teams nine game win streak, five have been shootout victories.

That could pose a problem for the team come playoff time as they will not have that luxury since overtime consists of 20 minute periods until someone scores instead.

The game against Dallas on Sunday night saw the Coyotes get a number of scoring opportunities during overtime and the team was much more aggressive during the extra period then it was the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, with the period only being five minutes long it makes their effort look minuscule, so hopefully when they have twenty minutes of extra play in the postseason, they will be able to capitalize on their opportunities.

And if all else fails in the overtime, just send out “The Closer” Adrian Aucoin to rip a shot from the slot and the game will be over.  Aucoin scored his fifth game-winning shootout goal for the Coyotes on Sunday to beat the Stars.  He is 5-for-5 on the season.

Radim Vrbata has also quietly been scoring at a solid pace as he again scored a goal in regulation as well as in the shootout, just as he did against Florida on Thursday, and added an assist.  He currently leads the team with 23 goals, not bad for a player who was not in the league for most of last season.

Petr Prucha scored the other Coyotes goal in regulation when he tipped in Vrbata’s pass from the end boards with just under a second remaining in the first period.

Jason Labarbera did a nice job filling in for Ilya Bryzgalov stopping 30 shots put his way including a diving save at the end of the third period to help keep the game tied at two.

The Coyotes will get a chance to take full control of the Western Conference when they take on the Blackhawks on Tuesday in Chicago.  Who would have thought even two weeks ago that the top spot in the West would be up for grabs during a game between the Hawks and the Coyotes?

If the Coyotes win it will also give them the season sweep of the Blackhawks after going 0-4 last season against them.

Win again and make it TEN!!!  Go Yotes Go!!!

About the Author Subscribe to author's RSS feed
Written by
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.

Tags , , , , , , , ,


In response to “The view from atop is magnificant”

  1. Dan Rakusan Mar 21 201011:56 pm


    Yotes are among my favourites in the West because of their high Czech content, being that I’m Czech…lol… Totally surpassing my expectations this season, but mainly because I based my opinion on the previous season, where I felt many players on the team didn’t play to their ability, and that’s worrisome. Bryz should win Vezina, and maybe even the Harttrophy. He’s been much better than I thought he would be.

    1. Vlad Mar 22 201011:33 am


      That is because you don’t know anything about hockey. Yotes will not make it out of 1st round! Red Wings all the way!

      1. Dan Rakusan Mar 22 201011:46 am


        Where did I say anything about them making it out of the first round? You can think what you want about my hockey knowledge, but at least I can read and have a basic grasp of the English language!

  2. Chris Rydburg Mar 21 201011:59 pm


    Words can’t describe how happy I am for the Yotes at this moment. I hope they secure that #1 spot and Nashville manages to slip to number 7 so they could play chicago. I DO NOT want the Nucks or the Sharks come playoff time.

  3. Nathan Mar 22 201010:56 am


    I’m loving this, but it’s too bad they couldn’t have done this 2 seasons ago when I had lower level season tickets. It got really old coming out to see the team get spanked game after game in years past.

    This season has been great. Every game I have attended has been a win. I hope the fans come out strong to support the team for the rest of the games. I’ve got my tickets for the rest of the games.

    1. Matt Shott Mar 22 201012:36 pm


      I completely agree, I was a season ticket holder for three years and my parents were before that. This season I moved to Toronto for school and they start winning. I would have definitely been a season ticket holder again this year had i still lived there. Oh well, Im enjoying the ride from here

  4. Mike Mar 22 201011:41 am


    I watched all the third and OT and Phoenix had no legs. Even the announcers said you could see how little they had in the tank but they found a way to win!

    1. Chris Rydburg Mar 22 201012:02 pm


      Absolutely true.

      1. kyle turris Mar 22 20101:59 pm


        hey mike i dont know what game you were watching but i wasnt tired at all. you probably had a few to many root beers

    2. Matt Shott Mar 22 201012:37 pm


      Thats how they have won all year, besides in the shootout, by never giving up and fighting til the end. This heavy March schedule will hopefully get them prepared for the every other night games that the playoffs will bring

  5. Kyle Turris Mar 22 20101:47 pm


    hey matt a wins a win buddy shootouts take skill too. u look like a downie as if you would know anything

    1. Matt Shott 8==D Mar 22 20101:52 pm


      hey vlad what was the highest level of hockey you played novice C ? last time i checked the wings are behind the “Yotes” in the standings

  6. 8=========D Mar 22 20101:54 pm


    Im great friends with Vlad and hes played beerleague for 7 years. hes a vet ok!

  7. Amy Jo Mar 22 20102:05 pm


    Puck Daddy mention. Woot Matt!

  8. Sniper93 Mar 22 20104:05 pm


    Superstars don’t make a team! San jose, New york, and Philly are three teams that come to mind. Pittsburgh did have Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Gonchar, and Fleury on their team when they won the cup last year, but the team was loaded with depth players, which outnumbered the stars on the team. Yotes have a great mixture of youth, experience, size, grit and depth players. The only thing they don’t have is a bona-fide superstar(case could be made for Doan) but they have one hell of a work ethic and team chemistry. I’m a leafs fan….enough said, i wish the leafs would take a page out of the yotes book…’s called perseverance

    1. Ben Petrino Mar 22 20104:09 pm


      The Pittsburgh “depth” players for the most part are all pretty bad. When Matt Cooke is secondary scoring on your third line you know you have a problem. Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Conchar, and Fluery carry that team. The rest of the parts are pretty lackluster. You can pretty much tell how good the other parts are because they usually leave for other teams, get overpaid, and do worse than they were doing. On top of that the Penguins trade for wingers every year to stay competitive because without it they would not be good.

      1. Dan Rakusan Mar 22 20105:19 pm


        Pittsburgh should try to parlay a centerman into a solid winger who is under contract for a while… Just my opinion though.

    2. Jeff Mar 23 20102:50 pm


      I love the make up of this team. Great mix of youth and exp. Maloney did a hell of a job at the deadline.

  9. Dan Rakusan Mar 22 20103:04 pm


    The fact you mis-spelled something in your comment is ironic and funny… The fact you contribute nothing to the discussion is even funnier. Well done!

  10. Kevin Lee Mar 23 20102:51 pm


    I believe we cleaned up all the problem posters on the site yesterday. Sorry guys.

Add Your Comment