ANA – 4 PHX – 1 F
The Coyotes returned to action at Jobing.com Arena after the much-needed All-Star break. Seems like some of the players thought they were still on break. The last place Anaheim Ducks rolled into town and with 3 goals over a span of 8 shots midway through the 2nd, the Ducks chased goalie Mike Smith and made quick work of the Coyotes.
The second period belonged to the Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano who had a natural hat trick in the second period. It’s hard to discredit a man who scored the fastest natural hat trick in franchise history, but it was three of the softest goals Mike Smith has let in all season. After trying to play the puck behind the net, Smith got trapped back there and the puck squirted to Cogliano for an open net goal. That really seemed to rattle Smith, and just three minutes later Cogliano’s wrist shot from a really bad angle seemed to go right through him. Things got worse for Smith when just under four minutes later Cogliano’s backhander from 30 feet away when right through Smith’s legs. It was either a horrible goaltending performance or Cogliano just had the magic touch. Both teams seemed to think it was the former.
“That might have been the ugliest hat trick I have ever seen,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, “but I’m glad they went in.”
The Coyotes had a strong 1st period outshooting the Ducks and getting a goal from Ray Whitney who notched his team-high 43rd point on the year. But after the Ducks’ 3 goal barrage in the 2nd, the Coyotes were never in it. Even after Anaheim took back to back penalties giving the Coyotes a 5 on 3 advantage late in the 2nd, Phoenix’s power play looked anemic and uninspired. The Coyotes power play got only 1 shot on net during the 2:36 man advantage, which included 1:24 of 5 on 3, and they had 2 turnovers and 2 offsides called. That just shows a complete lack of discipline by a unit that already ranks close to last in the league.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was disappointed by a couple referee calls that he felt could have really changed the game. He believed the refs missed an obvious offsides call that resulted in the Ducks’ third goal, and a Coyotes goal was called back after the referee declared that Martin Hanzal interfered with Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller.
“When both teams are amazed that a call is being made, you have to wonder about it.” Tippett said post game. “There was no contact with the goalie whatsoever.”
Referee calls aside, the Coyotes were not the better team on the ice Tuesday night. The defense played poorly, passes were off target, the offense looked slow, shots repeatedly missed the net, they were outplayed physically and Mike Smith’s head was clearly not in the game.
Not the start they needed going into the second half of the season.
Center Daymond Langkow left the game with a facial injury, but returned in the 3rd period. He is not expected to miss any games
This was the Coyotes 4th game of a season-long 6 game homestand (1-2-1)
About the Author
Written by Doug Podkowsky
I have a lifelong passion for hockey. My earliest memories include watching the great Islanders teams of the early 80s win the Stanley Cup. I learned how to skate when I learned how to walk. While I am no longer in my prime, physically and on the ice, I am still a student of the game and I love to offer my expertise to fans, players, kids, and anyone else who has a passion for this great game