(Image credit to Allison Gallagher)
It was a disappointing night for the home team in Arizona, tonight. After the first period ended and the Winnipeg Jets were already up 4-1, the atmosphere just felt different. Take it down to the locker room and you have just about the most disheartening environment that you will ever witness. When waiting to get in, someone compared the locker room after a loss to a funeral. The exact words were “this is probably worse than going to any funeral”. You could feel just how upsetting it is to have had such an outstanding pre-season and go to losing to a team 6-2 on your opening night, that much is for sure.
Straight from coach Tippett himself, we hear what needs to be improved upon overall;
“We need better goaltending. It’s as simple as that”
“For him [Goaltender Smith] to play his best, we need to play better in front of him”
Coach put it perfectly by saying that there were “errors with the puck” and much “too little discipline”. If you take a look at the box score, you would easily be able to see that the amount of minutes that they spent in the penalty box lead to sloppy shorthanded plays, and even two power play goals for the opposition. They need to stay out of the box, because they will most definitely need to keep the game in the Coyotes’ attacking zone.
The power plays were not the sole reason that the game was a blowout. Just like Tippett said, they guys need to be better in front. If your D is not showing up, and you have situations that your goalie is put in a compromising position, then you are going to have some issues. Sloppy passing and power plays definitely lead to the teams’ ultimate demise. Tippett said that “when you’re already chasing the game already, it’s against the odds of getting back in it”.
Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan was one of the only players on the ice that really made an appearance. The fact that the 20-year NHL veteran was performing the best out there for the ‘Yotes says a lot. He is, after all, the captain for a reason, and he proved that he could play the game how it should be. Though, a captain also is considered “good” when they can lead the team. That’s what hockey is, it’s a team sport, and if they can’t play as a unit, then they need to figure things out, and fast. Doan’s effort did not go unnoticed, and he was awarded the first star of the night. Going into the 3rd, he lead both teams with 5 hits and 3 takeaways.
Doan, although he is incredibly dissapointed in the start, says that they just “have to be ready for the next game”.
“Doesn’t matter if you loose 3-2 or 6-2, whatever it is, the next game you have to win…. You have 81 more, you’re never as good as you think you are when you win, and you’re not as bad as you think you are right now…Like I said we’re not as bad as we think we are right now, and obviously everyone thinks we’re pretty bad”
With an early exit from the Jets’ Evander Kane in the 1st, with a very apparent knee injury after a knee-on-knee hit by fellow teammate Mark Scheifele, one can only imagine what the rest of the game would’ve been like with him in. In total, he was only able to play 3 shifts and his TOI was 1:24.
There are so many questions to be asked right now, and the Coyotes have to address a lot of issues with execution and goaltending during the next day of practice and before their game on Saturday.
Coyotes fans, and players can only hope for a better game this Saturday, October 11, 2014 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Game notes and recap below: