• SHARE:
  • email
  • Bookmark and Share

Phoenix Coyotes pushing for playoffs but slump to poor loss against Canucks

Phoenix Coyotes' Martin Hanzal, right, of the Czech Republic, checks Vancouver Canucks' Alex Burrows, left, as Coyotes' Boyd Gordon ducks while sitting on the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday April 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Zoom Image

Phoenix Coyotes' Martin Hanzal, right, of the Czech Republic, checks Vancouver Canucks' Alex Burrows, left, as Coyotes' Boyd Gordon ducks while sitting on the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday April 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER - The Phoenix Coyotes were a team on a mission.

They arrived in Vancouver on the strength of three straight wins on home ice and without a loss in regulation dating back to March 25 against Detroit.

But the Coyotes' recent surge hit a snag in their timid 2-0 defeat to the Canucks on Monday. Phoenix (17-16-6) started slow and barely recovered, finishing with just 19 shots on goal.

Goaltender Mike Smith did all he could to keep his team in the contest, stopping 41 shots, but his performance failed to inspire a lacklustre Phoenix offence.

"We just didn't create enough to give ourselves chances and good looks to put the puck on net," Smith said.

"Credit to them they did a good job of getting in our face and making it hard on us to get pucks back in their end, but when you're facing elimination like we are we've got to be more desperate than we showed tonight."

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was disappointed with the display and even more annoyed with his team's inability to build on Smith's work between the pipes.

"We were just slow moving, we were slow out of the gate for whatever reason," he said. "It's not a lack of confidence, we should have confidence coming off some good home wins, but we didn't execute well, we didn't skate well and that's what you get when you don't execute and don't skate."

While it was only Phoenix's first regulation defeat in seven games, it was a critical loss. With only nine games remaining in the shortened season, the Coyotes still sit three points behind the eighth-placed Red Wings.

It may not appear to be a big gap, but six of Phoenix's remaining games are on the road and it has struggled outside Arizona, going 4-9-5.

"We haven't executed nearly as well on the road as we have at home," Tippett said.

"It's little plays getting made, it's playing a sound game and we just haven't been able to get enough people to get up to snuff like they are at home."

Added Coyotes captain Shane Doan: "We've just got to get back to playing the way we've been playing for the last six or seven games and give ourselves a chance.

"Obviously it makes the next two on the road (against Edmonton and Calgary) that much more important."

More Stories

Tampa Bay Lightning feel future is bright, despite early exit from NHL playoffs

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning are disappointed, though not discouraged. Despite being...

First season as an owner a dream for Coyotes' LeBlanc, except for missing the playoffs

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Anthony LeBlanc called owning an NHL franchise every Canadian kid's dream when...

Canadiens rookie Bournival thriving on Briere's line in first NHL playoffs

BROSSARD, Que. - Being the only rookie to play so far in the post-season for the Montreal...

Power briefly goes out at SAP Center ahead of Sharks-Kings opener in Stanley Cup playoffs

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Power went out briefly at the SAP Center less than an hour before the...
blog comments powered by Disqus

THN on Twitter

Who will win the 2013-14 Calder Trophy?





Contests

Our Partners