There are a couple of keys to the turnaround of the Phoenix Coyotes this season. Dave Tippett was hired and instantly brought a sense of purpose and stability to a team that has been mired in mediocrity for far too long. The hockey fans in Arizona (and yes, there are plenty of hockey fans in Arizona) deserved to have a team that was at least competitive and this season they have it.
Ilya Bryzgalov is the other reason. The goaltender set a franchise record last night with this 34th win of the season, a shutout of the Anaheim Ducks (
a team that traded Bryzgalov away, remember released Bryzgalov, which is even worse). He is the rock in the net for the Coyotes, who are playing much better defensively but are still improving as Tippett reworks the team.
“It’s nice but I’m not chasing any records here,” Bryzgalov said. “I came to help my teammates win games and my teammates help me win games because we are in the same boat.”
“We’re trying to make the playoffs and every game we win we are closer to finishing this mission,” Bryzgalov said.