Phoenix Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks
4-3, Coyotes (shootout)
Goals: Raffi Torres, Radim Vrbata and Keith Yandle (Phoenix), Jonathan Toews x2 and Patrick Kane (Chicago), in the shootout Radim Vrbata (Phoenix)
Goalies: Corey Crawford (.812) and Ray Emery (1.000), Mike Smith (.914)
A televised game! I saw my boys again! I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. You don’t know how happy I was to actually watch a game.
Mark December 5th on your calendars: Patrick Kane snapped his goal drought with a beauty of a shot, thanks to an assist from Jonathan Toews. And after all is said and done, Tazer leads the league in goals and points, while Kaner leads the league in assists.
Ray Emery continues to impress me. He’s made some wicked sweet saves before, and he laid down the law in this game. He’s well past redeeming himself after the awful night in Edmonton.
We did hold ourselves to one stand-alone penalty for the game compared to Phoenix’s four. I don’t count the fighting major that Jamal Mayers got, because that was served alongside Kyle Chipchura’s major. That was a heckuva fight.
I don’t blame Corey Crawford for being pulled because it’s not his fault. The goalie is supposed to be the last line of defense. That means the defensemen are supposed to be there to support the goalie. I actually had to yell at Duncan Keith to make him get an assist.
That first period was just sloppy. I don’t know why we do so poorly to start, but giving up two goals…yikes. We need to come out on fire and stay that way, because using the first period to warm up almost cost us the game.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago has pointed out that we tend to treat some teams as elite (Vancouver) and play like it, while the teams we struggle against are ones that are underestimated (Columbus and the Islanders). I’d say we did that tonight – we realized about halfway through the game that something needed to be done. This is the big hurdle in playing consistently – we need to treat everyone as elite and turn up the heat on them defensively.
at New York Islanders
We almost got nipped by the Isles last Friday night, so we can’t underestimate them again.