Coming off an iffy performance in the Rockies, Nashville needed two points badly. However, the Coyotes deployed their deadliest weapon: a hot goalie.
There is no franchise that can roll out their backup goalie and beat Nashville with the consistency that the Coyotes do. Why? The Coyotes bodyguard their net and make their opponents pay a price to get that real estate. It's the same story every year, and the Coyotes deserve full marks. They play with a lead very well, and can look like the Minnesota Wild at times, except with more kids and more fun.
This is especially effective when playing a team (Nashville) that chooses to settle for bad shots.
- Don't you wish Lavy didn't have to hold on to that timeout? He was a master at calling a timeout when the team wasn't giving the right effort last year. He can't do that this year, and this team could've used that to start the game.
- Why does it seem like the dumber a penalty is, the more likely it is that the ensuing PK will end before two minutes? Barrett Jackman took a real, real dumb one trying to hit Anthony Duclair. And yes, the Coyotes scored.
- I'm okay with Petter Granberg. He wasn't flashy, but he skates well and his play improved throughout the game. Putting him beside Jackman may be the best move since Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis were an excellent pairing, but Granberg never felt out of place. There was a great instance of Granberg working very well with Ekholm on the cycle in the first.
- With Wilson out (LBI), the top line was Filip Forsberg, Johansen, and James Neal. At times, it was gorgeous. I expected to see more of their sustained pressure in the second period with the long change, but that never developed. If anything, the Coyotes owned the second period and directed the tempo.
- That power play in the second period though? Woof.... that was bad and should feel bad.
- Arizona is a lot of fun on offense. Their wingers can be artists when it comes to passing, and they have enough size to be a real struggle to play against.
- Mixed feelings on the second Arizona goal. Firstly, Martin Hanzal had a very good shift. Carter Hutton looks like he got fooled on a deflection. His positioning could've been better, but that's Hutton.
- Stu called Mike Ribeiro's frame a "Big Body" during the first 5 minutes of the third.
- That siege the Preds launched during the late third was some gorgeous hockey. Credit goes to Craig Smith for playing like a man possessed, and working well with Mike Ribeiro. But it wasn't enough. And if it didn't happen there, it wasn't going to happen tonight.
- Empty netter.
- And Anthony Duclair makes sure that the Preds will be featured on all of the highlight show tonight. Awesome.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Louis Domingue. He joins the illustrious list of Phoenix/Arizona goalies that pwned the Preds.
- Tobias Rieder. He had two goals, which means he's on the list.
- Martin Hanzal. This is the guy that the Coyotes will be depending on to carry them to their eventual second round loss.
Was the Smashville App Correct?
Tweet of the Game:
Game 42 Haiku: Swedish D pairing Quality shots just not there The ship is sinking #haikuall82— Jim Diamond (@diamondhockey) January 10, 2016
Yep. That's about all.
Roll the video highlights...