Count me as one of the many people who are utterly confused by these Phoenix Coyotes. They're a collection of Blackhawk rejects and other guys you've probably never heard of and a goalie playing out of his head. Yet they're a point behind the Sharks in Pacific and just two points behind the Blackhawks now after winning last night's game in the shootout. They've got a fairly tough schedule remaining the season but there's still a damn good chance we could see them beat out the Sharks for the top spot in the Pacific (which would be hilarious) and don't be surprised if they challenge the Hawks as well for the overall top seed.
Things certainly started off well enough last night, Daydream Nation helped set up Troy Brouwer for a can't miss shot from the slot. Then the wheels started to come off for Bryzgalov... On a power play in the second, Hossa feed Patrick Kane a beautiful cross ice pass and Kane wristed it in. Bryzgalov couldn't move across his crease quick enough (few goalies probably could) and wasn't able to make a stop despite the puck hitting him.
Wojtek Wolski was to shove a puck in about halfway through the second and it didn't take long in the third for the Lee Stempniak to tie it up. It looked like the Hawks would just get lucky in the game as both Andrew Ladd and Patrick Sharp scored Charmin soft goals against Ilya Bryzgalov but it wasn't meant to be. On their fifth power play of the night, the Yotes finally got it right and Stempniak was able to score his second of the night. With just five minutes left former Hawks captain Adrian Aucoin tied the game. A bunch of stuff then happened in OT, posts were hit, penalty shot, kicked in pucks... this is where the night gets a little hazy for me. The Hawks weren't able to score in the skill competition but Radim Vrbata got his backhander to work...
While I'm not yet concerned about the Hawks inability to shut down teams when they've got the lead, I'm certainly annoyed by it. The Hawks had a chance to take advantage of a rare off night from Ilya Bryzgalov but failed to keep the Coyotes off the scorecard. I guess that's what happens when half of your defense is on the shelf though.
I have no idea what the hell Ben Eager was doing all night. In just about 8 minutes of time on ice, he racked up 6 PIM. The first 4 on a rare spearing call and the second after he slashed and seemingly challenged Shane Doan to a fight immediately after Wolski's goal. While the fourth line had one or two good games lately, they've had a lot more where they can't seem to do anything right. This is something to be watched..
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who made it out to the Bottom Lounge last night. The turnout was far better than we expected (we're still surprised you want to read this drivel, let alone hang out with us) and from what we can remember, the three of us had a great time.