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!

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