For Phoenix perspective, please visit Five for Howling.
The Wild came into the night hungry for a road win, and with a revamped bottom nine. Charlie Coyle was called up, Darroll Powe was traded. Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund were moved to the fourth line. All this was meant to get the players to play the game they are paid handsomely to play.
The result? Exactly the same thing we have seen all season.
The Coyotes owned the play for much of the game. Stretches of time (12 minutes in the third period) without a single shot on goal. Giving up 18 SOG to the Yotes in the first period likely wasn't a great way to start. The Wild would show flashes of wanting to arrive for the game, but each time they did, the Coyotes found another gear and held it long enough to shut the Wild down yet again.
The first goal of the game was a soft lob in from the blue line that Backstrom clearly could not see at all. On the second goal for the Coyotes, the Wild defense was standing around watching the game, and let Martin Hanzal have all the time he needed. It's great when guys like Ryan Suter get on the ice tickets to the game, but at some point you would think he would have the urge to play the game.
Zach parise would answer the Yotes with a goal of his own, but it was, once again, too little, too late. The Wild had nothing going for them at all, and the Coyotes just kept finding way to win the battles. Everything the Wild did came up with the same result. Nothing.
Even two third period power plays would result in... zero shots on goal. Zero. As in... none. Less than one. Zippo. Zilch. Nada. As many as your grandma had.
The Wild come home to play the Canucks on Thursday. The good news is, the game is in St. Paul, so they won't need a map and compass to figure out where the nets are at. That, and Mike Rupp will be there to save the team, no doubt.
That's it from the desert, folks. Wild lose on the road. Again. Going to be a short season if they can't figure out how to play on the road.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Mike Smith (21 saves)
2. Martin Hanzal (1G, GWG)
3. Uh... the ice? (It's warm in Phoenix)
- How does Charlie Coyle look in his NHL debut? Pretty good, really. The kid looks to have the chops. Just needs some time.
- Can the 4th line play like a... you know... 4th line? Nope. They were better than a 4th line. They actually played a little bit. Same result, though.
- Message received? Yes and no. They showed that they get it, but they still didn't execute.
- Would the first line care to join the rest of the team? One of them did.
- Road win #1? Nope. Maybe sometime in March...