Bruins Pummel Coyotes Again 6-0
Fielding a roster short Connor Murphy, Antoine Vermette, and Martin Hanzal as well as playing the second game of a road back-to-back, you could sort of say we saw this game coming. The Coyotes once again came out flat and though they stabilized at times, the fatigue from the previous game showed and each bounce went the way of the Bruins. The game was never really in doubt.
Here’s how it went down:
- No one is sure what Klas Dahlbeck was doing on the Jimmy Hayes goal. He just slid across the crease and never took a man, easy goal for Hayes. That kind of characterized the night for the Yotes, though.
- I don’t wanna be that guy, but Mike Smith should not have been in net tonight. I’m not a big fan of playing the goalie back-to-back and I thought that was a fairly unanimously held belief outside of certain scenarios. In game 10 of the season against an Eastern Conference team on a back-to-back with a good chunk of the top half of the lineup out? That’s not one of those scenarios. It was a rough, rough night for Mike Smith. He played poorly and the team in front of him played even worse. This was his sixth straight game with a sub .900 save percentage after starting out so stellar. It’s a testament to how strong he was in those first three games that his save percentage is still sitting at .908 on the season after this shellacking tonight.
- Zbynek Michalek has also had a rough two games. Some miscues last night, a -2 tonight. Not a good look.
- Heir apparent Max Domi finished the night -3 and just could not get anything going on the ice. Lots of ill advised passes and a couple giveaways. This was definitely a “growing pains” game for #16.
- Kyle Chipchura had the inverse of his excellent night in Toronto, but then again what do you expect when you put a strong bottom six forward and force him to center the top line? As I tweeted before the game, Chip between Boedker and Domi is less than ideal but that’s the situation the Coyotes find themselves in due to injury and a lack of top end depth. Next year, though…
- Tobias Rieder worked his tail off on the ice and was a shiny piece of gold mired in the muddy stream that was Arizona’s play tonight. The hustle this dude brings each night is endearing.
- Speaking of hustle, Jordan Martinook brings that as well. It’s a shame that shot went off the post instead of in…it really could have changed the complexion of the game. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.
- Steve Downie and John Scott. I…don’t even know. Ironically John Scott was one of two Coyotes who finished even on the night. Good for him. I liked how he got the 10 minute misconduct for basically being too big late in the third period. That reputation’ll get you every time.
- OEL got caught with no inclination of what in the world he was doing after a Tyler Gaudet giveaway in the 3rd. Brett Connolly got an easy goal while OEL vacillated between going down, taking Connolly, or fronting Patrice Bergeron. Instead he spun around and stood flat footed. Not his finest hour.
- Defenseman Stefan Elliott showed precisely why the Colorado Avalanche viewed him as such a liability on the first score of the night by David Krejci. An ill-advised pinch from Elliott with no coverage in sight allowed Krejci to skate in on Mike Smith unmolested for an easy 1-0 lead. If Elliott is to remain our regular 7th defenseman it’s going to be a long year on that blue line unless Tippett and co. can dig deep and work on his hockey sense and judgement. The rest of the tools are there, it’s just the timing that’s all wrong.
The continuance of Arizona’s bad habits of pinching at inopportune times and/or failing to have a forward cover when a defenseman activates is bordering on comical at this point. The team is giving up odd man rush after odd man rush and right now Mike Smith is not up to the task of stopping all of these breakaways. Nor should he be. Couple that with another 0 for 3 on the power play and it’s easy to see why the Bruins out-did the Coyotes in every facet of the game Tuesday night.
Putting all of that negativity aside, the team is now 5-4-1 and finished the 5 game road trip 2-2-1. Again, prior to the start of the season I believe we would’ve been quite happy with this outcome. Seeing how strong the team can be and how much the youth and speed provides, however, it’s hard to swallow the team being so inept in regards to covering the blue line and all forms of special teams.
Ten games down. Let’s burn this tape and move on. Onward and upward.
The Yotes are back in action Friday night against Vancouver. They will finally be home.