Phoenix coach Dave Tippett was glad to see his team show up today in Los Angeles.
“That’s the best we’ve seen in the series, that’s for sure,” said Tippett following the Coyotes’ 2-0 victory over the Kings that extended the Western Conference finals for at least one more game.
“Our guys competed hard. Little things that make the game move ahead for you. We live for another day.”
Tippett’s squad didn’t look particularly competitive to start Game 4 at the Staples Center, and you have to wonder how the Coyotes would’ve responded if the Kings had managed to convert one of their two early man advantages. But the only reason you’re left wondering is because it didn’t happen.
“[Mike] Smith was excellent [in goal] and our penalty killing was excellent,” said Tippett.
And once captain Shane Doan opened the scoring on the power play at 14:19 of the first period, the Coyotes were able to turn their focus to keeping the Kings to the perimeter and limiting prime scoring chances.
“A lead is valuable for us,” said Tippett. “You get a lead, you feel you can push the game along. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
Of course, the only other time the Coyotes managed to take the lead – in Game 3, when they opened the scoring in the second period – the Kings tied it up two minutes later.
This time, Phoenix was able to hold on and force a Game 5 Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.
“We’re going home,” said Tippett. “We’re excited about going home, playing in front of our fans again.”
Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.
As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.
Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.
Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even great anxiety.
It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.
If Blues weren't planning so already, Bouwmeester injury likely means Edmundson-Pietrangelo open together. Also opens door for Dunn/Walman.
The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.
That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.
“I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.
It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai
The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.
According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.
Dating back to late June, the NHL had vowed to call slashing more closely after a number of incidents last season, including Marc Methot‘s gruesome finger injury, which was the result of a slash to the hands from Sidney Crosby.
Monday’s game between the Islanders and Rangers featured nine slashing minor penalties. The Devils and Capitals were only 41 seconds into their preseason game Monday when Jimmy Hayes was called for slashing. A total of six slashing minors were called in that game — not to mention three faceoff violations.
There’s been talk of being harder on slashing following several wrist, hand and finger injuries last season from dangerous stick work. “Now, as soon as your stick is off the ice and you touch the other players’ stick or hands, it was zero tolerance today,” Eller said. More surprising was the three faceoff violation penalties called in the first period of the game. That also represented a new emphasis from the league. “Cheating” on faceoffs has been commonplace, and for centers who’ve made their name winning faceoffs with a certain style and routine, staying perfectly within the red lines in the circle was an adjustment.
According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the Senators-Maple Leafs game Monday also featured three faceoff violations. It appears right now there will be quite an adjustment for players across the league to the apparent crackdown on slashing and faceoff violations, especially early on.
However, will this be the standard for the entire season? For the playoffs?
“I have a tough time believing that in the playoffs, in Game 7, that kind of call is going to be made,” Mark Letestu told Sportsnet. “Right now, there’s an overemphasis on it, and hopefully it doesn’t go all the way back to where it was.”