Phoenix Coyotes embracing underdog status

If a team rides near the top of the conference all season long,
overcoming all expectations and even coming close to competing for the
top seed in the conference, generally they don’t enter the playoffs as
underdogs. For the Phoenix Coyotes, who seemingly against all odds are
headed to the playoffs with home-ice in the first round, that’s the
reality as they prepare to face the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s the
franchise’s first playoffs appearance since 2002; the Red Wings are the
most successful franchise in the NHL in the past 20 years.

Hence, the Coyotes will be considered underdogs, and already I’m
seeing a number of predictions that have the Red Wings taking them out
in the first round. That’s just fine with them, says
coach Dave Tippett:

“That’s who we’ve been all
year,” he said. “From the first day I got
here, people looked around like ‘What are you doing?’ That’s how we’ve
been able to thrive all year, so why would it change now?”

Coyotes are embracing their underdog status, saying as a group they’re
as good as any team in the NHL.

What’s interesting is that the
Red Wings are the favorites based on a solid pedigree yet the Coyotes
have by far had the best season between the two. But the Wings are hot,
have a hot goaltender and are healthy; it’s tough to pick against them.

Coyotes have been an incredibly successful team, turning things around
in just one season, but it seems that no one is taking them as serious
contenders. Taking out the Red Wings and moving on to the second round
— well, that will certainly turn some heads.

Scroll Down For:

    Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

    Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

    The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

    The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

    The NHLPA released a similar statement.

    It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

    We’re starting to find out some details now:

    How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

    Stay tuned.

    Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

    Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

    Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

    Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

    Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

    Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

    According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

    Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

    And here’s a statement from TSN: