Tag: Daymond Langkow

Shane Doan

And then there were three: Coyotes’ run falls short


No doubt about it, the Phoenix Coyotes are probably as bitter – and angry – as any team that got booted out of the playoffs in recent memory. They might even feel a bit like the 2011 San Jose Sharks (the last team to get knocked out of the Western Conference finals in stunning fashion). Chances are, the Coyotes will be unhappy about the Dustin Brown knee-to-knee for a long time; they’ll probably get over the Dustin Penner 4-3 overtime winner much quicker.

Either way, the Kings knocked them out of the WCF with a 4-1 series score.

Once the anger of the loss evaporates and the awkwardness of the handshake line dissipates, the Coyotes might realize that they can still hold their heads high. Let’s rattle off this season’s accomplishments:

  • They won their first Pacific Division title.
  • Phoenix advanced beyond the first round for the first time since the team moved from Winnipeg.
  • It’s also the first conference finals in franchise history.
  • The team did all of this amid serious financial troubles.

Yup, it’s a tough defeat for the Coyotes but it doesn’t change the fact that this is their best season ever.

What happened?

The Coyotes simply ran into the buzz saw known as the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings broke the NHL record for road prowess, deleting home-ice advantage for Phoenix (and the West’s two other highest seeds) in the process. The Kings boast a comparable defensive system, an arguably better goalie and an absolutely superior offensive attack. Overall, they were just too much for the Coyotes to handle.

Who takes the blame?

If you need to blame anyone, perhaps top scorers like Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney. Whitney failed on a few golden opportunities while Vrbata generated just one assist in the series. For most of the season, that combination was one of the most underrated scoring lines in the NHL; perhaps the Kings showed why they flew under the radar.

What will they do about it?

Obviously, the Coyotes’ bigger picture future needs to be resolved. If you’ve followed that story, you know that it might not necessarily happen during this off-season, though.

That’s a huge factor, but with all the uncertainty, let’s move on to questions that will be easier to answer. While the Coyotes’ goalie duo of Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera have contracts through 2012-13, the rest of the team is a little less certain. Most specifically, they have a bunch of veteran contracts to settle.

It starts with Shane Doan, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Ray Whitney and Daymond Langkow are other aging free agent forwards while Michal Rozsival, Adrian Aucoin and Kurt Sauer rank as older unrestricted defensemen.

The bright side is that they aren’t likely to deal with a lot of players getting raises this summer. The bad news is that they’re unlikely to have much budgetary space to work with.


And then there were 15: Is Detroit’s dynasty on its last legs?

And then there were 14: Sharks come out flat in playoffs

And then there were 13: Powerhouse Pens fall flat

And then there were 12: Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks bounced in Round 1

And then there were 11: Another first-round exit for Blackhawks

And then there were 10: Bruins run out of Game 7 magic

And then there were nine: Senators out, but future’s bright

And then there were eight: Panthers go out swinging

And then there were seven: Blues swept out of Western Conference semifinal

And then there were six: So much for Nashville’s mid-season reload

And then there were five: New-look Flyers produce familiar results

And then there were four: Capitals fall just short in Game 7

Tale of the Tape: Kings vs. Coyotes

Justin Williams,  Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Rob Scuderi, Anze Kopitar, Oliver Ekman-Larsson

On Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes will host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals (3:00 pm ET, NBC). The Kings are up 3-0 in the series; here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.

Leading scorers

Los Angeles: Dustin Brown (7G-8A-15PTS) | Phoenix: Antoine Vermette (5G-4A-9PTS)

Starting goalies

Los Angeles: Jonathan Quick (11-1, 1.41 GAA) | Phoenix: Mike Smith (8-6, 2.02 GAA)


Season series tied 3-3

Oct. 20: Los Angeles 2 at Phoenix 0
Oct. 29: at Phoenix 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT)
Dec. 26: at Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 3
Jan. 5: at Los Angeles 1, Phoenix 0 (OT)
Feb. 16: at Phoenix 1, Los Angeles 0
Feb. 21: at Phoenix 5, Los Angeles 4 (SO)

Game 1: Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 2

Two gaffes by Jonathan Quick (particularly a center ice goal given up to Derek Morris) made the score deceptively close. The Kings dominated much of the play, carrying a 48-27 shot advantage. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown were their usual impact-making selves, but Dwight King’s two goals ended up being a sign of things to come. This was one of the best Kings’ performances of the playoffs and probably their best team effort of an impressive series.

Game 2: Los Angeles 4, Phoenix 0

While Game 1 was deceptively close, the Kings weren’t as great as the score indicated. Instead, the Coyotes were guilty of a series of self-inflicted wounds, particularly during the second period when they took some uncharacteristically undisciplined penalties. Shane Doan was ejected for boarding Trevor Lewis (which didn’t result in further discipline) while Martin Hanzal was thrown out for boarding Dustin Brown (which netted him a suspension). Amid the carnage, Jonathan Quick (24 saves) had a relatively quiet shutout while Jeff Carter scored his first career playoff hat trick and the Kings’ first playoff trio since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1993.

Game 3: Los Angeles 2, Phoenix 1

This contest was more along the lines of what people expected from this series, but the results weren’t any more positive for the Coyotes. Daymond Langkow scored to give Phoenix its first lead of the series but Anze Kopitar only needed about two minutes to tie it up 1-1. Dwight King continued his improbable playoff success with an unexpectedly gorgeous game-winning goal. Meanwhile, a few questionable penalties left Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett livid.


Los Angeles: Scott Parse (hip), Kevin Westgarth (hand) and Simon Gagne (concussion).

Phoenix: Adrian Aucoin (undisclosed) and Raffi Torres (suspended).

Video: Anze Kopitar makes Coyotes’ first lead a short one


“Finally,” the Phoenix Coyotes must have thought. Daymond Langkow split the Los Angeles Kings’ defense and beat Jonathan Quick to collect a 1-0 tally for the Coyotes first lead of the series, their third goal of the Western Conference finals and his first of the 2012 playoffs. Yet that lead lasted about two minutes as Dustin Brown sent a long pass to Anze Kopitar, who managed to split a backhander by Mike Smith:

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This isn’t the first time the Kings have squashed momentum with stunning speed. They hadn’t trailed since Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues series and answered possible change-of-pace goals with daunting speed last round, something that made Ken Hitchcock take notice.

If you want a movie-world equivalent, think of it this way. When a team scores against the Kings, they react so quickly that they resemble the evil cyborg T-1000 chasing down a motorcycle in “Terminator II.” (A movie that released in the meat of the franchise’s last great era, by the way.)

Phoenix Game 3 lineup: Pouliot replaces Hanzal, Stone stays in


According to Fox Sports Arizona, Marc-Antoine Pouliot will draw back into the lineup for the Coyotes this evening, replacing the suspended Martin Hanzal.

Pouliot, 26, will be making his Western Conference finals debut. He hasn’t played since Game 4 of the Nashville series — a 1-0 Phoenix win — and has appeared in five postseason contests all told, registering one assist.

It remains unclear what line Pouliot will play on because all Coyotes practices during the Stanley Cup playoffs are closed to the public, something Coyotes Senior Director of News Content Dave Vest pointed out to Twitter user OG Pimpbot.

Update: According to NHL.com, Daymond Langkow will move from the fourth line into Hanzal’s spot between Radim Vrbata and Taylor Pyatt. Pouliot will play somewhere on the fourth line.

FSN Arizona also reports that defenseman Michael Stone will play in his second straight contest tonight, paired with veteran blueliner Rostislav Klesla.

Stone, 21, made his playoff debut in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss, playing 12:15 in place of the injured Adrian Aucoin.

Sutter on Kings’ center depth: “The strongest part of our team”

Kopitar Richards

In a postseason where the most valuable Kings could be G Jonathan Quick, D Drew Doughty and RW Dustin Brown, it was interesting to hear Darryl Sutter discuss the importance of his centers.

“I said when I came here, I thought it was the strongest part of our team,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “Last year, [Anze] Kopitar never played in the playoffs. Richie [Mike Richards] wasn’t here. Jarret Stoll was suspended one game. Fraze [Colin Fraser] was not here.

“If you look at it, it’s a total shift in that position. You know how important that position is.’’

The Kopitar-Richards-Stoll-Fraser quartet has been impressive this postseason.

Offensively, it’s combined for 9G-14A-23PTS and a plus-14 rating.

Defensively, it’s been a great shutdown unit. Opposing centers have had a helluva time trying to break loose — Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler was harassed into a miserable opening round series (no goals, minus-1); in Round 2, St. Louis’ Patrik Berglund went scoreless in four games (after scoring seven points in five against San Jose.)

In Game 1 against Phoenix, the Kings were at it again. The Coyotes centers — Martin Hanzal, Antoine Vermette, Boyd Gordon and Daymond Langkow — were hammered in the faceoff circle (Gordon went 8-for-17, Hanzal 5-for-13, Langkow 2-for-8) and went a combined minus-2.

LA’s centers, meanwhile, combined for three points and 11 shots on goal.

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett recognized the battle down the middle will be key in this series.

“We recognized that L.A. played a strong game, but I think we can be much better than we were,” he explained. “Center ice is obviously very important in that. Our whole group can be a lot better.’’