This week’s selection for Unsung Heroes comes from the Pacific Division again, and a team in an area not exceptionally well-known for hockey royalty — but all the same, the Phoenix Coyotes managed to make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they were bested by the eventual Cup winners, the Los Angeles Kings.
The good thing about your teams’ season ending? Injuries are no longer a secret. Most times when an injury is revealed fans respond something along the lines of “well that explains things”. Most times these injuries don’t come as a surprise. Claude Giroux had a wrist injury? Had no idea since he went from scoring every goal in round 1 to none in round 2. Other times, they catch you completely off guard.
Which brings me to Phoenix forward Lauri Korpikoski. Nicknamed “The Korepdo”, Korpikoski is known for the energy and speed he brings to the game. When that disappeared as the postseason went on, everyone assumed he was hurt. He was. According to Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona, who was at the Coyotes break-up day, Korpikoski had knee, elbow and concussion injuries. Rumor is this all happened in the Chicago series, i.e. Round 1, and while he missed some games, he did play through the injuries. What does this mean? According to Five for Howling, he played with a concussion.
I can’t point fingers because I have no idea if the Coyotes knew before physicals on their break-up day that he had a concussion but with everything going on with concussions, with everything we now know, someone needs to be held accountable that he stepped on the ice still having symptoms. There is no excuse. Yes it’s the playoffs, yes your team needs you but guess what? You won’t be much help to them next year when the symptoms are still there and you can’t get on the ice. (Ask Marc Staal.)
I give the Coyotes credit for being honest about his injuries but if I’m a Coyotes fan, I want answers as to why he played. Injuries happen and if they lead to the team being knocked out, there’s nothing you can do about it. But to put a 25-year olds’ health in jeopardy over a game is absurd. If any organization should understand the repercussions of a concussion, it is the Coyotes. They do after all still pay Kurt Sauer who hasn’t stepped on the ice since the first game of the 2009-2010 season.
These things are serious people. You want to play with a broken bone? Fine, I can’t stop you. The bone will just take longer to heal. But your brain doesn’t care that you want to play. It will not heal if you keep pushing it. And the fact that we need to keep saying this proves these guys just don’t get it. Do we need to see a couple more players die from depression due to concussion symptoms? I just don’t understand how this keeps coming up.
Look, I don’t know how severe the concussion is or what symptoms he is experiencing so I have no idea if this will have any affect on him the future. I won’t, however, be surprised if he’s not on the opening day roster and to me, that will hurt his team more than if he sat out an extra game or two in the playoffs.
Game 1 had officially started for the 3rd seeded Phoenix Coyotes and 4th seeded Nashville Predators and it was a dandy of a game as it went into OT. That is right extra playoff hockey. The Predators outplayed and outshot the Coyotes but it took one mistake by the Predators as Ray Whitney took advantage of it and ended the game in the 1st OT as the Coyotes won 4-3. Here are the highlights from the game:
» Continue reading “Whitney Gets The Winner As Coyotes Win 4-3 In OT, Series Lead 1-0″
If you want extra time, then Game 5 of the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks was the game for you. It was the first time since 1951 that a game went into a 5th straight overtime that the Coyotes and Blackhawks went back into OT to decide who won this game. I am not even kidding when I said 1951. You heard me correctly. Jonathan Toews wins the game in OT for the Blackhawks, 3-2. » Continue reading “Coyotes Lose Game 5 2-1 In OT, Series Going To Game 6″
(Phoenix leads best-of-seven series, 3-1)
TV: NBCS Network 9pm time start
A pack mentality has gotten these Phoenix Coyotes through much the season and the playoff run they are on. They will look to close their series with the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow in Game 5 as they will look to win a playoff series in their franchise history while the Blackhawks will look to take the series back to Chicago for a Game 6. The Coyotes won their last two games in overtime with Mikkel Boedker’s game winners, putting the Coyotes up 3-1 in the series. The Coyotes are going to have to learn how to keep a lead in the 3rd period by scoring reassurance goals.
3 keys to winning game 5 for the Coyotes:
1. Score first has been a key for the Coyotes. Also playing a full 20 minutes in each period and full 60 minutes in the game. They have issues by letting the tying goal in each of their last three games.
2. Maintaining the lead and scoring reassurance goals to make sure they finish out the game. They have let the past game tying goals making them to go to Overtime to win their games. Hopefully tomorrow they will learn that tomorrow to close out their game with the series.
3. Their penalty kill has been a key to the series as their PK in the series as has been at 92.3 which has been crucial for the Coyotes. Their power play has been a different story as they are 18.2 and half the reason why they can’t keep their leads in the game.
Mikkel Boedker is one of the key players that the Blackhawks are going to have to contain to win this series as he scored the past two game winners against them. On the Blachawks side, Jonathan Toews, the captain, will look to motivate his team and try keep them in the game.
If the Blackhawks can maintain and cover Boedker, they will have a chance to win and take the series back to Chicago for a pivotal Game 5. If not, the Blackhawks will be looking at the golf links. If the Coyotes can contain Toews, they will win their first series in franchise history.
Game 5 is a do or die game for the Blackhawks. The Coyotes will look to close out their series and rest for up for a few days. This game will be fun. This game will be packed. This game will have emotions. Will we see a handshake at the end? We will have to wait and see tomorrow for this game. I am excited. Are you?
-Lauri Korpikoski is out for the game due to a lower body injury. Martin Hanzal is a game time decision.
-Mike Smith has been a big reason why the Coyotes are poised to win. 10 goals on 164 shots for a .939% save percentage in the past 4 games. Very impressive for Smith, who is considered the MVP for this team.
For the 2nd game and 4th Overtime in the series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes, Mikkel Boedker scored his second overtime winner as the Coyotes won 3-2 and take a commanding 3 to 1 series lead over the Blackhawks. Here are some of the recaps from the game:
The Blackhawks came out firing, earning an early power play as Shane Doan took a penalty for hooking. The Coyotes were outshot by the Blackhawks 10-5 in the 1st period alone. The Blackhawks had the better of the chances than the Coyotes did. Then after the power play chances by the Blackhawks, there was a fight between Brandon Bollig and Paul Bissonnette. After the fight, Bissonnette earned a game misconduct for a jersey violation.
(Phoenix leads best-of-seven series, 2-1)
TV: CNBC, TSN, RDS2, FS-A PLUS (HD), CSN-CH (HD) 8pm time start
Game 4 will be intense and physical between the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks. This series has some bad blood between these two teams especially after Raffi Torres brutal hit on Marian Hossa. Right now, Torres is suspended indefinitely and will be held out for Game 4 as his suspension hearing will be in person on Friday. The Coyotes right now need to take this news out of their game and think about Game 4 because if they win they will take a dominating 3 to 1 series lead in Game 4 while the Blackhawks will be looking to tie the series.
As we look at this series between the Blackhawks and Coyotes, there have been 3 games, three blown leads in the 3rd period and three OT winners with the Coyotes taking two and the Hawks taking one. Both teams will have to learn to play better defensively in the 3rd period if either team wants to win this game in regulation.
The Coyotes will try to take a series lead with goalie Mike Smith in the net and the continuing scoring by Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette. The Blackhawks on the other hand, will be looking to tie the series without the services of Marian Hossa and looking for other to pick up like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The game will start at
-On the power play, the Coyotes are 22% while the Hawks are 10%. On the penalty kill the Coyotes are 90% while the Hawks are 77%.
-The Goal scoring leaders are Bryan Bickell with 2 goals for the Hawks and Antoine Vermette with 3 goals for the Coyotes.
-Lauri Korpikoski (upper-body injury) is questionable; Martin Hanzal (lower body injury) is a game time decision
The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks went into overtime for the 3rd time in this series. Mikkel Boedker wins it for the Coyotes as he scored the game winner in OT as the Coyotes win 3-2 and take a 2-1 series lead. Here is the game recap from the game:
The first period turned out to be one of the worst periods I have ever seen in my life, as a big devastating hit to Marian Hossa from Raffi Torres. Hossa took a hard hit to the head from Torres as the puck was nowhere in site. Hossa is still down and went off the game on the stretcher. It was a dangerous hit from Torres. I am expecting a suspension from him since after all he is a repeat offender. The Hawks finally got a puck past Mike Smith as the shot from Patrick Kane deflected off of Andrew Brunette as the Hawks take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
The game picked up in the second period as the teams were hitting and trying to get goals past Crawford and Smith but nothing could get past them. The emotions after the Torres hit were emotional and high from the game. After the second period ended both Smith and Crawford were chirping at one another as the Hawks take a 1-0 lead into the second period.
The Hawks kept their 1-0 lead until Rostislav Klesla tied the game at 1-1 as it was deflected by one of the Hawks in front of Crawford. That was Klesla’s first goal of the playoffs. Then the Hawks answered right back as Michael Frolik responds back from Klesla goal and the Hawks lead 2-1 in the 3rd period. Then Ray Whitney responds to Frolik’s go ahead goal and ties the game up at 2-2. After that neither team could get a shot passed either Crawford or Smith.
In the 1st OT, the Hawks and Coyotes keep shooting the puck as the teams are getting nothing past either goalie. Mikkel Boedker got the game winner in OT as the Coyotes won 3-2 and take the series lead.
This series especially this game had a intensity to it and the Hawks will be looking to tie this series up 2-2 in Game 4 as the Coyotes will be looking to taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.
-Mike Smith and Martin Hanzal in warm-ups for the Coyotes Mike Smith did start the game but Hanzal could not play. As stated earlier, no Lauri Korpikoski, who is day to day with a lower body injury.
Shots on Goal: Hawks 37 ,Coyotes 34
Powerplay chances: Hawks 0 for 3 ,Coyotes 0 for 3
The series between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks is tied at one game apiece and is now heading back to Chicago for both game 3 and 4. The Coyotes are looking to recover from the OT loss against the Blackhawks and practiced in Scottsdale before heading to Chicago. Mike Smith, Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski were the ones who were missing from practice. Their status for tomorrow’s game is questionable. The media asked Coach Dave Tippett about the health of the team and this is what Tippett said to the media
“Our health is just fine,” Tippett said. “We have everybody under evaluation, that’s where we’re at, that’s not a concern of ours.” (Quote Source: Fox Sports Arizona)
Now if Smith, Hanzal and Korpikoski are not ready for tomorrow’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks then it will be a big blow to the Coyotes and a big advantage to the Blackhawks. Hanzal’s status for game 3 is a concern as he was a big part of the Game 1 victory and many reporters did say that he had to be helped off the ice to the locker room after Game 2. We will all know their statuses for Game 3 tomorrow at the morning skate but for right now, the fans are going to have to be patient.
Game 3 is a crucial game for both the Coyotes and Blackhawks as the team who wins this game will take a 2-1 lead in the series. Will the Coyotes recover from the Game 2 OT loss and win game 3? Or Will the Hawks take their home ice advantage and win game 3? We will all know tomorrow when the game starts at 9pm on CNBC.