Sunday, January 1, 2012

New year's resolutions

 My expectations for the new year:
  • Post on your blog, Alexis.
  • A healthy Smith.
  • An owner.
  • Take the *** ***** out in the playoffs. Game 7 will be 4-3 Coyotes with Doan's first career hat trick.

I'm not too demanding of 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Proud to be a Coyotes fan

Why? Because we earned the win with our play last night, just got unlucky on some shots our way. There were mistakes, yes, but no more than from them.

Let's just take a look at these two teams for a minute. The Boston Bruins (I won't even go on about how much I hate them) are the defending Stanley Cup champions, coming off of an 8-0 victory over Florida, and a leading +57 goal differential.

And we've all heard the same old song about our team: the Yotes suck, they're a second-rate team, Phoenix doesn't even deserve a hockey club.

Well in front of a sellout crowd, the largest this building has ever seen, this second-rate, terrible team of ours prevented the mighty Bruins from scoring for over 59 minutes. And yeah, that's without Smith, and "LOLBarbera" in net, and no Hanzal, or Gordon, or Aucoin.

And while holding them off, we sneak a goal by one of the best defensemen in the league. Looks like Big Bad Zdeno Chara is a little too tall for his own good, line of sight kept him from seeing this little beauty skate by. And by "beauty" I of course mean Whitney. The goal was nice too.

Rozsival and Bissonnette also had big games tonight. Rosey decided to be a defensive demi-god that evening, taking pucks away and protecting the house. Boston didn't get a lot of quality chances with him on the ice. Meanwhile Biznasty made sure they bled if they ever wanted to touch the puck. The guy had some huge hits, earned some ice time, and really helped our team out in a big way.

LaBarbera pulled himself up, dusted himself off, and had an amazing game tonight. Their first goal within the first few seconds of the game was unlucky, screened and had a lot to do with a defensive breakdown on our end. The second was a bad deflection off of one of our guys. Most importantly: their two goals came 59:15 apart.

Miele still needs some seasoning to get used to Tippett's defensive game, but I was happy to see him not intimidated by this Bruins team. Honestly? I'd like to see more of Rundblad. Morris always seems to be on ice when we're scored on in crunch-time situations. Our offense and power play always needs some work, and it's no different now.

But you know what? I am happy with my boys. Proud of them. We faced this monster of a team and showed them that we aren't afraid. We aren't a second-rate team. We can compete with the best of them, and if the best of them wants to win, they're going to have to fight for it and bleed.

So, in summary,


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Team USA: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Cup

After a ridiculous late-night conversation with my friend at Hockey Yelling, we decided it would be a great idea to make a hockey team of US Presidents. See the results here. Enjoy, and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

1st Line

2nd Line

3rd Line

4th Line

DP 1

DP 2

DP 3

Backup Goalie

Head Coach

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home, away, and alternate

In light of the holiday season, I've finally decided just who I want on my next jerseys, one of each flavor.

#41 Mike Smith
Reasons: I love him. Neuvirth might look just like a cat but Smith moves like one.

Beyond that and probably much more importantly, although a newcomer to the team, Mike Smith embodies the very spirit of this franchise. We're expected to fail, plain and simple, destined by critics to end up at the bottom of the pile, and eventually in Winnipeg/Quebec/KC/Portland/Las Vegas.


Ol' Schmitty probably got the worst of such cynicism during the off-season, what with the shoes he's supposed to fill. No one expected anything of him except failure, and he's disappointed them all. He's sitting pretty at fifth for wins in the league, tied with the likes of Lehtonen and Thomas.

I never thought I'd be so happy to have a netminder who clearly isn't starting-goalie material.

# 16 Rusty Klesla

 Reasons: HE IS A WARRIOR. But seriously, this guy deserves way more attention than he gets. No, he is not a superstar offensive-defensemen, and he doesn't get into a lot of fights, and he doesn't have an infamous twitter account. He does manage to keep in perfect position while out on the ice, he does finish his checks and never gets hypnotized puck-watching. He's turned out to be an incredible asset to us as a shutdown defensemen, and makes sure that the opposition barely has enough room to breathe if they want to play in our zone.

As far as I'm concerned, Kles is one of the most reliable guys on the team. He works hard, he does what's expected of him, he is unselfish and yet pounces on any opportunity that comes to him to make a play. 

Definitely Coyotes material, and absolutely worthy of more recognition than he gets.

# 19 Shane Doan

Reasons: Captain, my captain. Shane Doan is the Phoenix Coyotes. Angry Doan is terrifying and entertaining to watch as he human-wreckingballs around the rink. But beyond his on-ice amazingness, Shane Doan might be one of the best human beings on the planet.

There isn't enough to be said about him that hasn't been said a million times over. There are few better examples of leadership, determination, and resiliency than this man. The team respects him, the fans love him, and I would follow him to Hell and back. May he carry us to that Stanley Cup he so deserves.

# 28 Lauri Korpikoski
Reasons: Can we all just agree on how fun this kid is to watch? He is FAST, he makes goals and adorable Christmas card versions of himself.

Mark my words, world, once he improves his stickhandling a bit more, the Korpedo will be tearing through the NHL. I will patiently await my triumph of "I TOLD YOU SO", and for now relish the gems he gives us when he smokes the opposition Wally West style.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

11/23/2011: the night Klesla killed Perry

This was a game made of everything I have been wanting to see and a lot of things that I don't even understand.
The things I've been wanting to see:

Other things that happened: Doan, Whitney and Yandle woke up and decided to show off all their mad skills (note: "skill" is a relative term around here) and everything was great for it. 
Poor Chips couldn't keep up with the wizard on an excellent breakaway attempt that would have made highlight reels around the world. It's okay because he was really great in every other aspect of play, just take my word for it.

And then Doan had a lot of dirty stick language going on, which considering his play lately, had my head spinning. Deke? What is "deke"?

On top of all this, Yands was doing things that weren't faking the shot every single time or making ill-advised passes that lead to turnovers. He did things like "defense" and "goal make". And with Hanzal and Vrbata already chugging along nicely, we're now a growing threat in the conference--and we were doing pretty swell before that.

Things that I don't even:

 The entire third period. I missed it. I'm sorry, but here's what happened according to the score sheet: 
Oliver Ekman-Larsson/OEL/The Hyphen/Harry Potter scored, just in case you didn't love him enough already.

Corey Perry also scored (booooo), he was obviously mad about Klesla laying into him earlier.

(The aftermath)
("Go on without me /coughwheeze...")
(too bad they didn't)

12 minutes into the second period, Smith is hit from behind after playing the puck in front of the net. He gets back up to get at the guy who hit him, Maxwell, as well as a few of the other Yotes.

Maxwell gets an interference penalty, I get flashbacks from the Winnipeg home opener, and Smith gets... diving? I thought a roughing call, maybe, but DIVING?

Doesn't the whole "Maxwell gets an interference call for knocking Smith over" kind of negate the whole diving thing? Or that he isn't pretending to be hurt but getting up to get his fair share of retribution? Or that he didn't hit Maxwell to try to draw an interference penalty because Maxwell is being penalized for hitting him?

Not that it matters because they didn't score, it was just weird and stupid. A black mark on Smith's record that is hardly deserved. Next time you call someone for hooking, ref, make sure you get the other guy too, for holding the stick.

"16:43 Ryan Getzlaf: Interference - 2 min
16:43 Ryan Getzlaf: Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min
16:43 Teemu Selanne : Unsportsmanlike conduct  - 2  min
16:43 Ryan Getzlaf : Misconduct (10 min)  - 0  min"

Did the Ducks become the Flyers while I wasn't looking? I always liked Anaheim, they're in the best division and we win against them a lot, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the refs made a bogus call. I can be this charitable because we won 4-2.
More in the Ducks defense: Hanzal should have also received a penalty (inciting?) for being there for Getzlaf to illegally hit. If he'd been more in line with the league and the spirit of the game, he would have never let his body get in the way in the first place, and would spare Anaheim from the penalty box. Alas...

It's nothing personal, Babs

Everything I like about Jason LaBarbera:

  • His Pat Tillman mask.
  • Late last season, he made 46 stops in a hilarious victory against Vancouver.
  • The other night this happened: (Balloonbera?)

Maybe one day this list will be longer. Sigh.

Monday, November 21, 2011

things that shouldn't go unsaid

My collection of thoughts I've had since the start of the season until the start of this blog, reader's digest version.

Old Jets vs New Jets: I'll start by complaining that they kept the Jets name. Because now I see too often that the new Jets being regarded as a continuation of the old Jets, and not the Thrashers. Gee, way to my team's history while disregarding your own.

But onto the actual game. I think the forced rivalry between the two teams was a little silly, and I don't think that it was as important to the players as it was to myself and many other fans.

After all of the torment we've endured from the vocal minority of Jets fans heckling us that we'd be moving, and after the final insults of the vocal minority of Jets fans booing Coyotes jerseys walking into the area, we conquered this great evil that had been looming over our heads. "Winnipeg" had become synonymous with "relocation".

And we crushed them.

Every cry of "Go, Jets, go!" from the so-called-invasion was immediately drowned out in a roar of "LET'S GO COYOTES". And now it's really over, I don't really care too much how successful or unsuccessful Winnipeg is this year. That game was the end of a painful chapter in this team's history, and now it's done and time to move on.

On ownership: Just getting this out of the way and being done with it. We're here to stay. I believe that. For every team that's been relocated: I'm sorry. I'm sorry for fans of the many teams that have been in a similar situation to ours. Have some respect for Coyotes fans, and remember when it was you.

Our shiny new toy: More on Bryzgalov later, this is for Smith.

I had a healthy amount of skepticism bringing him in, as this is a person who I knew very little about and was supposed to replace the likes of Ilya. But if Tippett requested him, that's good enough for me.


And Smith is amazing. I can't believe this is still being debated. Did he let in a bad goal being out of the net? Yes, and that was disappointing but look at all the other goals we've been able to score because he can get the puck up the ice that much faster for us. He's made some supernatural saves this year, the team loves him, I love him. I think he's better for the team than Bryzgalov was, and I think that's already starting to show.

Haters of Walsh and Bryzgalov: I just don't get this. Smith is exponentially better for this team than Bryzgalov was, and Bryzgalov was great. Bryzzy (Breezy?) helped to carry this team to the playoffs two years running. I won't ever forget this and won't ever stop respecting him for it. He earned the right to go for the big bucks in Philly, and if he doesn't want to play for us, then fine.

All this hatred for Todd Walsh has me just as confused, after the "Bryzgalov incident" before the Philly game. If you haven't heard the interviews, check them out. I was shocked what our players had to say about the Russian bear; shocked that they would say such things, but I believed every word. Should it have been said? Probably not, and we look extra unclassy after losing that game too.

Is it Walshie's fault? I don't see how. That is kind of his job. He didn't ask the players how much of a jerk they thought Bryz was, he asked them what their feelings were about him going into this game. What other radio and TV hosts wouldn't ask their teams the same thing?

I respect Walsh, even if I do think he's a little corny sometimes. He's been nothing but supportive for this team, and these players, and you can tell the emotional investment he has in the Coyotes. If only we had ten of him representing us on the television and radio stations, we'd be a lot better off in this ownership situation.

I liked him before it was cool: Rostislav Klesla.

Listen I have witnesses to vouch for me on this.

Last year I was sad to see Upshall gone, but cautiously optimistic to have this "Klesla guy" in when our defense was broken. Very early in to his career as a Coyote, Klesla takes a puck to the face to block a shot and I fall in love with this warrior of a hockey player. Thank God he is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

I'm only mad at him because he makes it so hard to choose what name goes on my next jersey: Smith, Korpikoski, or Klesla?

The San Jose Sharks: I respect this team when we are playing against them more than any other team in the league. There, I've said it, and I'd say it again if I had to.

I don't know what it is, but every game between these two clubs is so gritty. The intensity is that much stronger, and it's not just because we're division rivals. There is just some real explosive chemistry between us, and I love it.

A perfect example would be our second game against them this season, with our first being a complete joke. Smith gets his first shutout as a Coyote. Everyone is redeemed for the utter failure that started this season. We showed that we can humiliate and beat down their club just as well as they can do to us.

Bring on round 3, San Jose. Win or lose, it's bound to be a great show.