If there’s one thing the Phoenix Coyotes excel at, it’s turning 1-0 leads into victories. They had a staggering 33-4-6 record in the regular season when scoring first and that trend has continued into the playoffs.
“Well, I think if you’ve seen the way our team has played, not just in the playoffs but all year, a lead is valuable for us,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippet told reporters in his post-game press conference. “It’s just one of the traits of our team, probably like a lot of teams in the league, you get a lead, you feel you can push the game along. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
Obviously, a lead is very valuable to any team, but not every squad defends it as well as the Coyotes. The flipside of it is that not many teams struggle as much as the Coyotes when it came to overcoming early deficits.
In the regular season, only three teams had a worse winning percentage than Phoenix after falling behind 1-0.
In other words, if the Coyotes don’t come out strong in Game 5, they’ll have a very tough time forcing a Game 6.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.