The Angry Budgie Live

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Desert Dogs-a-Howlin - Stanley Cup Western Conference Semi Finals

After advancing to the Stanley Cup second round for the first time since moving to Phoenix the Coyotes had a second round matchup against the Nashville Predators. The Pred's dealt with the Wings easily in round one and would present a very tough opposition for the Coyotes. But, in this post season or surprises, you'd be a fool to bet against the Desert Dogs!

v Predators (W-OT)

In keeping with the Yotes progress thus far the first game of round two had it all at the! The Coyotes held three one goal leads throughout the game, were massively out shot in the final period 16-1 and yet still were able to dig deep and grind out the win in another OT! The misfiring Phoenix top line also turned up, having struggled in round one the top line had two goals in this game. With the game going to overtime, the Coyotes set an NHL record of their first 7 post season games, 6 of them went to the extra session. This shows the ability of this team to keep going and get the win no matter what. The saviour this time was Ray Whitney who got his second goal of the playoffs.

v Predators (W)

Having made the best start to round two, it was up to the Coyotes to do it again! In doing so they proved they needed to be taken seriously, many had tipped the Predators to do the job over the Yotes, game two showed it would be tougher than they thought. Mike Smith put in another stellar performance and the Phoenix big guns all contributed to record a fine 5-3 victory. This time, no overtime was needed! Vermette, Vrbata, Hanzal and Doan each got a goal and an assist and the Coyotes out shot the Predators to record an all round victory.

@ Predators (L)

The Predators, back in the comfort of Bridgestone Arena, finally woke up and decided to play in game three. Two goals in 76 seconds and a return to form for Rinne was enough to blank the Coyotes by a score of 2-0. The Predators showing some of the form that got them 107 points from the regular season. With Rinne in great form and, the Coyotes inability to score on a 5 on 3 powerplay, it is hard to begrudge the Predators this win. Game four will be a real test!

@ Predators (W)

Both Phoenix and Nashville were know, throughout the regular season, as tough defensive teams that were hard to breakdown. Game four in Nashville was an example of that tenacity! Where as in game three and four the Coyotes didn't make many big plays, the difference was, in game four they made fewer mistakes! Mike Smith, who must be putting in  a great shout for a league MVP this season, gave the Coyotes a 25 save shutout performance and captain Shane Doan scored the games only goal. The win giving the Coyotes series advantage and a chance to seal it up at the Jobing arena. Hopefully this time, unlike in the first round, they can get it done in front of the home faithful!

v Predators (W)

All back to the desert for, potentially, the biggest game of the Coyotes history! Not only had this season seen the Coyotes advance past the first round for the first time. Win this game and the Coyotes could reach the conference final for the first time! Beating teams like St Louis and Vancouver to this particular dance this season! Mike Smith again stepped up and had a great game and the Coyotes were able to frustrate the Predators in front of their net limiting the chances available. The Coyotes leapt to a two goal lead in the second period through Morris and Hanzal and, despite conceding a goal in the third to Colin Wilson, were able to close-out the biggest win of the Coyotes history so far.  

So the unfancied Coyotes dealt with the Predators winning the series 4-1 and advancing to a conference finals match up with the LA Kings. The win built upon the great news that, the NHL had signed the potential deal with the Jamieson group which would keep the Coyotes in the desert. The Coyotes head into the finals with home ice advantage, the underdog tag and a potential new ownership situation sorted, this summer is turning out to be a great one for the Phoenix Coyotes!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Desert Dogs-a-Howlin - Stanley Cup Western Conference Quarter Finals

The Coyotes advanced to the post season once again as the number 3 seed in the western conference. Unlike the previous two season the Yotes would not face the RedWings but, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were dominant on home ice through the regular season but lost both games against the Coyotes, including one in the United Centre. This series would be a tough one, but a winnable one for the Phoenix Coyotes.

v Chicago (W-OT)
 Opening the series on home ice is important, but getting the win is even more so! In what would set the tone for the series this game was a close/tight affair, which the Coyotes would lead and yet let the lead slip late. In fact, the Coyotes were just 14 seconds from a regulation win before the Hawks tied the game. Thankfully the 'Hockey the hard way' mantra the Coyotes have adopted worked its magic and, 9minutes into the OT period Hanzal scored the winner to give the Coyotes the early series lead. Phoenix had, earlier, built a 2-1 lead through Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette only for Brent Seabrook to force overtime.

v Chicago (L-OT)

The second game in the series, again at the, would be another tight game. By the end of the second period the Coyotes had built a 3-2 lead over the Hawks through goals from Torres and two for  Vermette. The third period looked to be goaless and the Coyotes heading for a 2-0 series lead but, like game 1, the Hawks got a late late equaliser. This time going 10sec better, scoring their 3rd goal with just 5.5sec left off a deflected shot. This time the Coyotes could not regroup and it was the Hawks who scored the winner in OT to tie the series 1 a piece.

@ Chicago (W-OT)

Game three in Chicago will probably be remembered for a hit rather than the result. During the first period Marian Hossa picked up the puck centre ice and made a pass without looking up. Raffi Torres en-course for a hit left his skates and delivered a crunching hit to Hossa who lay injured and had to be stretcher from the ice. It's not a pretty hit and one that, subsequently, has been punished heavily by the league handing out a 25 games suspension for Raffi Torres. The game itself would be the third in a row to head to overtime. This time it was Ray Whitney and the Coyotes with the OT forcing goal. Mikkel Boedker delivering the laser shot to give the Coyotes back the series lead.

@ Chicago (W-OT)

The Coyotes are a team without household stars, ask most people and they won't be able to name any! This under the radar profile and hard working ethic is being tested to the max in this series. No goals for 40 minutes left it down to a third period scoring frenzy! Phoenix lept to a two goal lead through Doan and Pyatt, but the late lead cough-up curse came to haunt the Yotes once more as the Blackhawks roared back into the game. Morrison and Frolik scoring to tie the game with 90 sec to go. The will to win that's got the Yotes through this season would not desert them and Boedker would score his second straight OT winner to put the Yotes up 3-1 and a chance to tie up the series back in Arizona!

v Chicago (L-OT)

Back in the desert with a chance to win their first playoff series? Too good to be true? Sadly it was, 'Hockey the hard way' would see to that! Typifying the series so far the game would be another tight one that would need the extra session to decide. Brule got Phoenix on the board early in the second period only for Nick Leddy to tie the game mid-way through the third period. Perhaps with nerves increasing the Blackhawks got the winner in OT though a first playoff goal for Johnathan Toews. This sent the series back to Chicago for another game and, another chance for the Coyotes to close out the series. With Torres gone for 25 games, every previous game going to OT the fans are certainly getting their money's worth!

@ Chicago (W)

It's this sort of game that a teams true mettle and reserve comes out! The game could not have indicated how far this Coyotes team has come any better. In Chicago, needing a win, the Coyotes exploded and rolled the Hawks 4-0 to take the series win. The big key for this win was Mike Smith, Chicago put 28 shots on goal through the first two period but just couldn't score. Oliver Ekman-Larsson put the Coyotes ahead in the second period. With Mike Smith turning away every shot the Coyotes hammered home the advantage in the third. Goals from Brule, Vermette and Chipchura ensure the Coyotes won their first every playoff series 4-0, with Mike Smith turning away all 39 shots he faced. v Chicago - Not needed. With that the Coyotes won their western conference quarter final 4-2 and advanced to the semi final stage for the first time in their history. This win sets up a series against the Nashville Predators with the Coyotes once again, taking home ice advantage. What further surprises can this Coyote team spring?