The Phoenix Coyotes are returning to the desert with a 2-2 series split with the Detroit Red Wings.
The Coyotes started the two game series in Detroit off well by beating the Wings 4-2 in the first game before getting shutout 3-0 in Game 4.
The past game and a half the Coyotes have been without the heart and soul of the team, Captain Shane Doan who injured his shoulder after he tripped over Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.
The Yotes finished the 4-2 victory in Detroit without him, but looked extremely lost the next night when they were shutout by the rookie Howard.
Quick note: How impressive is Jimmy Howard to admit to the media and to his team that he needed to be better or the Wings weren’t going to win, and then go out and post a 29-shot shutout. That is the signs of a future star: to note that he is not playing as well as he should be and then gets a shutout the next game, truly amazing that he is just a rookie.
Ilya Bryzgalov has played extremely well this series for the Coyotes looking very confident in his play, minus a couple weak goals, and gives the team a chance to win night in and night out.
The Coyotes and Red Wings now face a best of three series with Phoenix regaining home ice advantage.
Without Shane Doan the Coyotes need the veterans of the team to step up and help guide this youthful Phoenix squad to victory and help get them back on track.
In both of the Coyotes wins the team straight up out worked the Red Wings through all three periods, especially the third, which is what they have done all year in order to win games, and this attribute to their game needs to return.
A lot of analysts in the media world believe that the Wings have now woken up after their 3-0 drubbing of the Yotes during game four and will cruise to a series victory, but these are the same people who said the Wings 5-0 shutout victory in game 5 of last years Stanley Cup Finals was the Wings waking up game and that the Cup was theirs to lose.
What happened? Right, they lost the next two games and as a result, failed to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
The Coyotes need to get back to their defensive style of play and continue to out-work this older Detroit squad, and give the city of Phoenix its first playoff series victory.
Best of 3 series begins tonight. 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.