While the effect is the same, I would describe last night's loss more as getting beat than losing the game. For all the naysayers who haven't seen the Coyotes play and think that they are going to magically disappear before the playoffs, the game was an education in how they have done it so far.
Their success starts in goal and moves out past the defense and extends to the forwards. It is all driven by coach Dave Tippett who coaches much like our own Barry Trotz and gets the most out of an average group of players. Ilya Bryzgalov was anything but average and was the difference maker in last night's contest frustrating the Predators by stopping 41 of 43 shots. For the record, ex-Pred Scottie Upshall outscored the Preds 3-2.
It was an odd game to watch because we made many friends in Phoenix over the summer supporting the Save The Coyotes campaign so it was difficult to really difficult to not feel a little bit of joy after the game for those folks we have gotten to be friends with.
Hopefully, the Preds will fare better tonight in Denver. Another loss could leave them perilously close to falling out of the top eight in spite of all they have accomplished this season. They are currently only three points out of ninth place. We will have our game preview later today.
Preds- Coyotes Wrap-Up...
Here is our Game Report from last night.
John Glennon has a story, notes and a pondering at the Tennessean. They also have the Game at a Glance for tonight's game.
In the Blog world game updates come from Forechecker, Brandon Felder, The View from 111, and See Puck City.
The other side of the story comes from the Arizona Republic, Travis Hair at Five for Howling, Anthony Perez, and our friend Yotesgurl.
In Pred Nation...
We were asked to do a guest post at NHL Hot Stove and produced an extended look at what the Preds may do at the trade deadline. It will not run in this space so you will have to follow the link to read it. Thanks to NHL Hot Stove for asking us to do a guest spot on a good site.
Paul McCann has an article about last night's game but the most interesting thing is the link to Toronto's FAN 590 and their discussion of the crowd at the Sommet Center on Monday night.
Admirals Short Shifts hands out grades to the defense, goalies, and coaches following the same drill as they did with the offense.
Kevin Allen has an article about Patric Hornqvist in USA Today this morning.
Around the NHL...
Georges Laraque has played his last game with the Habs. It is an unusual move in that hey will pay him not to show up for the rest of the season and then buy out of next year's part of the contract. It sounds like that by going this route he could not play for another team until next season. Forechecker adds perspective with discussion about the role of the enforcer in today's NHL.
I think the Preds need to continue to carry an enforcer but one with more on ice skill that can contribute in other areas as well. A player like Dan Carcillo who scored 13 goals and added 11 assists in his first full year in Phoenix while still amassing 324 penalty minutes is the prototype for the new NHL. I have suggested a trade deadline deal where we send Toots to the Flyers for Carcillo and a 2nd or 3rd round pick which would replace Tootoo’s role and Belak’s at the same time, giving us an extra spot open for a skilled player. It will never happen but is something to consider.
Ryan at the RLD sums up the Western Conference race in a good breakdown of what's left for each team.
Matt at View from My Seats has a brand new page layout and gives 20 reasons the Oilers stink.
It is completely baffling to me why the NHL gets involved in movie projects with story lines that seek the lowest common denominator type mentality. Last year it was The Love Guru. This year it is the Tooth Fairy with The Rock. Here's what The Rock had to say about it with Scott Laughlin on XM204. As it turns out, The Rock has never been to a hockey game.
Unrelated to hockey but it is more competition for the sports dollar in Nashville... The Nashville Outlaws baseball team in the Prospect League will begin operations this summer playing a 56 game schedule at Vandy's baseball field. I wonder if they will out draw the Sounds?
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass