The tough times continue for Mike Ribeiro in Phoenix.
The Coyotes’ big offseason acquisition — signed in free agency for $22 million over four years — has been a dud as of late, going goalless in 10 straight and sitting as a healthy scratch while Phoenix keeps fighting for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
“Obviously, I’m not helping much,” Ribeiro said, per the Arizona Republic. “It’s up to me to play better and step up my game.”
The slide comes just months after Ribeiro had a November to remember, scoring 11 points in 13 games while temporarily emerging as the club’s best center and playmaker. Since then, though, things have gone steadily downhill to the point where, in March, Ribeiro had nearly as many healthy scratches (two) as he did points (four).
Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett was blunt in his assessment of what’s wrong, deflecting claims that Ribeiro’s carousel of wingers has played a significant role in his decreased output.
“Really, ‘Ribs’ has to put the work in. That’s the bottom line,” Tippett said. “Everybody likes to rely on other players around them, but you gotta put the work in yourself first before you start looking at wingers.”
Tonight’s game versus Columbus is a huge one for the Coyotes. They head into Tuesday’s action sitting one point back of Dallas for the final wild card spot, and the Stars are hosting Nashville at American Airlines.
If the two teams keep winning, it’ll set up a final day, winner-takes-all matchup for the last playoff spot, as the Stars will take on the ‘Yotes this Sunday in Phoenix.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger