After an overtime win for the Arizona Coyotes last week in Buffalo, it was time for the Sabres to come and seek revenge in the desert. An all-around messy game ultimately led to a 4-1 loss to the last place Sabres.
Finding positive in the negative
The hype about the game was unfortunate; the focus of the game wasn’t about winning, but rather about who was going to lose. Why would anyone want to see their team lose? Well the Coyotes are now within four points of last place, something that might not look positive, but could guarantee them a chance at either Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid in this years NHL Draft. This is definitely something positive to look forward to even in all of the negative. Both players could lead to the success of the Coyotes in the future, but no one wants to see people hoping for a loss.
“There was certainly a lot more of that talk in Buffalo but for us, it’s just another game where you have to show up and play,” said David Moss about the situation they are in. “The circumstances are what they are. As a player, you try not to worry about that aspect of it. You try to prepare like a professional and go out and do your job.”
Connor Murphy on the concluded Sabres series: “It’s frustrating when people make it about the losing instead of about the team efforts.”
— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) March 31, 2015
Not going down without a fight
The Coyotes have made it clear that they aren’t going to just roll over and admit defeat, but rather try to finish off the season on a positive note. Losses like this obviously don’t point to much positive, especially after the season they have had. An early goal by defenseman Connor Murphy looked to be promising, but they were not able to build upon the lead, resulting in their defeat.
“We didn’t come to work obviously. We left Smitty (Mike Smith) out to dry and didn’t show the effort we needed to in front of your own home crowd,” said Murphy on the game. “We got the result we deserved for how we played.”
Smith the biggest factor out on the ice
Smith has definitely been a positive in the latter part of the Coyotes season. Smith has been the main reason that they have been able to stay in games. The players have praised him lately for his play and last night was not an exception. He was the most consistent person on the ice, but if he isn’t getting the offensive or defensive help, he obviously isn’t going to prosper.
What does a coach take from a game like this and how does he correct mistakes? They look past it and look towards the future. With several days in between their game last night and their game on Saturday against San Jose, they have a good amount of time to practice and “tweak” some things about the team’s game. Dave Tippett leads his squad in the final five games of the season, and just like the rest of the team, isn’t going to just give up.
“Yeah there wasn’t much there tonight that’s for sure. We couldn’t win battles down low in the offensive zone or sustain anything; we were sloppy with the puck… So that’s where we’re at.” – Head coach Dave Tippett