The Detroit Red Wings can complete the sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes tonight in Glendale. The Coyotes fantastic season was overshadowed by rampant rumours of relocation and ongoing squabbles between prospective ownership and a watchdog organization. If the Coyotes lose tonight, the prevailing thought is that this could be it as far as the franchise’s time in Arizona goes.
That undying sense of uncertainty surrounding this team seemingly served as fuel for this club for the last two seasons. Nothing is set in stone, but the general consensus is that any hockey played in Arizona beyond tonight will only take place if the Coyotes can bang out a couple of wins and force this series back to Glendale for Game 6. As for what lies beyond the next couple of weeks for the Phoenix Coyotes, well, your guess is as good as mine.
Darren Helm, checking line making life miserable for Coyotes
Mike Babcock on the impact of Darren Helm and the Red Wings checking line on the Coyotes through three games, via Ansar Khan of MLive:
“Helm’s an elite player, probably not a fourth-line player,” Babcock said. “Helmer and (Patrick) Eaves and (Kris) Draper do things right and they do it right shift after shift after shift. So when the game’s not going your way they do things right.”
No Pronger for Game 4
No surprise here as Chris Pronger will sit once again for the Philadelphia Flyers. Reports out of Buffalo had him looking much better at the morning skate, so his return may not be that far away.
Boudreau becomes the focus in Capitals/Rangers series
From calling out Rangers fans for their apathy to calling out the league for the lack of attention given to a pair of hits on Mike Green, Bruce Boudreau has effectively made himself the story of this series. John Tortorella remained cool for the most part in dealing with questions ranging from Boudreau’s criticism of Madison Square Garden and Rangers fans to the Staal and Prust hits on Mike Green. A lesser man probably would have called out Capitals fans as being of the ‘fair weather’ variety.
Hiller sent home as vertigo symptoms persist
Ray Emery and Dan Ellis will continue to man the crease for the Anaheim Ducks as Jonas Hiller’s status went from not very promising to even less promising. Hiller stay off the ice and spend the next few days at home.
Poile up for second straight ‘GM of the Year’ award
Nashville Predators GM David Poile has earned his second consecutive nomination for ‘General Manager of the Year’ along with Tampa’s Steve Yzerman and Vancouver’s Mike Gillis. OnTheForecheck with a quick rundown of Poile’s best work over the past year:
- Signing free agent center Matthew Lombardi. We obviously don’t know yet how this will work out, but since you can’t predict injuries, I still see this as an extremely savvy move.
- Getting a dollar for a dime. Poile somehow managed, all in one summer, to turn Dan Hamhuis and Dan Ellis’ negotiating rights, Dustin Boyd, Ryan Parent, Jonas Andersson, and Jason Arnott into Sergei Kostitsyn, Shane O`Brien, a 2nd round draft pick, Matt Halischuk, and Matt Lombardi. Not bad.
- Stocking the farm system well enough to call upon a number of Milwaukee Admirals to fulfill critical roles at various points of the season, and have them deliver. On the current playoff roster, Nick Spaling, Blake Geoffrion, Matt Halischuk and Jonathon Blum all started the season in Milwaukee.
- Last, but not least, the acquisition of Mike Fisher, which was a trade for the right now and next season. In the semi-long term, Fisher gives Nashville an excellent center corps under contract next year (Fisher, Lombardi, Legwand, Smithson), and it’s pretty easy to see the impact he’s having on their postseason play.