DaveTippett

Phoenix coach Tippett laments ‘season of frustration’

3 Comments

After a 4-0 loss to Detroit on Monday all but eliminated the Coyotes from postseason play, players and coaches were asked to reflect on the year.

Their answers wasn’t surprising.

“Season of frustration,” head coach Dave Tippett told Fox Sports Arizona.

Goalie Mike Smith said much of the same.

“It is disappointing,” he explained. “After getting to the Conference Finals last year and having success, and sitting where we are right now is a hard pill to swallow.”

The Coyotes had high expectations coming into this year after a banner 2011-12 campaign. They captured the Pacific Division title and made it to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Phoenix also retained a large core of the ’11-12 team, including captain Shane Doan, who opted to stick with the club after a number of suitors expressed interest this past summer.

This year, though, few things went right in the desert.

Last year’s leading goalscorer, Radim Vrbata, missed 14 games to injury and scored just nine times. Smith, arguably the team’s MVP a year ago, was only able to play 32 games.

The team’s penalty kill, ranked eighth in the league last year, dropped to 19th (80.5 percent). And the offense dried up almost entirely, as Phoenix tied Nashville by being shut out a league-high nine times this season.

There was also one crucial stretch of play that doomed the ‘Yotes — a seven-game winless streak in March where they only secured two points and fell from sixth to 12th in the Western Conference.

“That losing streak — that’s the season,” Vrbata explained. “That’s where we got behind, and we were chasing since then.

“It’s tough to chase in this league.”

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
AP
Leave a comment

The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

1 Comment

The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

Leave a comment

Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
AP
3 Comments

Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?