Well, the Coyotes' seven-game win streak was snapped this weekend against Anaheim, but the recent play from the Coyotes has been evocative of last year's team that set franchise records for points and wins. Over the past week, the Coyotes went 1-1-0, giving them an 11-6-5 record overall, good for 27 points and second in the Pacific Division.
With Thanksgiving having come and gone last week, I'd like to say that I'm thankful for the prospect of new ownership for the Coyotes before the end of the year. I'm also thankful that with the new ownership and the return of winning hockey, the Coyotes are poised to become the hottest ticket in Phoenix sports -- and I do believe that now is as good a time as any for everyone to hop on the bandwagon.
The Coyotes have had four hat tricks already this season and are seeing offensive contributions up and down the lineup. The defense is a bit banged up, but Ilya Bryzgalov has continued his Vezina-caliber play from last season to make the Coyotes one of the most formidable opponents in the Western Conference. Don't wait until February or March to start paying attention to the Desert Dogs; this team is primed to make some noise this year.
Tuesday November 23 vs. Edmonton, 5-0 Win
I believe we covered this game in last week's review, but, we'll do it again just in case. The Coyotes jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Martin Hanzal just 42 seconds in. He would add a second goal later in the game, and Lee Stempniak added two of his own as Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his first shutout of the season. It was a fine performance and gave the Coyotes a seven-game winning streak -- tied for the best in the NHL this season.
Saturday November 27 vs. Anaheim, 6-4 Loss
This game looked good early on as the Coyotes took leads of 1-0 and 3-1 in the first 30 minutes. Keith Yandle's power play tally looked like it was the start of a real blowout as the Coyotes simply had dominated play through that point. However, Anaheim took advantage of a juicy rebound coming back from a media timeout and the momentum just shifted entirely to the Ducks, especially after Wojtek Wolski hit the post after decking Jonas Hiller out of his pads.
Bobby Ryan recorded the fifth hat trick on Jobing.com Arena's ice this season, but no hats were to be seen as the fans stared in shock as Anaheim scored five straight goals to lead 6-3 with 10 minutes to play. Scottie Upshall scored with just under four minutes to go on a nice passing play with Lauri Korpikoski and Shane Doan, but the Coyotes just couldn't muster up enough offense to get any closer than that.
This week, the Coyotes hit the road for back-to-back games in Nashville and Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday nights before returning to Glendale for a Saturday affair with the Panthers and a Sunday trip to Anaheim for a rematch against the Ducks. These are winnable games for the Coyotes and it is essential that they don't allow a losing streak to begin following their recent torrid play as the Western Conference is too packed for such a letdown. I'll be back later in the week to check in on the Eastern Conference at the quarter pole.
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