After a lackluster road trip we needed a big game to bounce back. We didn't get it. The Coyotes stung is in Nationwide at a score of 4-1. All semblance of offense that we've had recently was all dried up.
Either Phoenix played a great road game or we simply weren't able to get the juices going tonight. I'm not sure what happened to our 5 on 5 play from last year, but it is something that needs to get fixed quickly. Outside of a couple of nice chances on the rush, we haven't been able to set up any offense from an offensive zone set-up. It was a terrible game in from the red line in tonight. Bad passing, no offense, nothing off of the cycle.
Credit Jason Labarbera tonight, he made the big saves.
It is difficult to find good or bad play in this one tonight, it was all sort of blah. I thought Vermette and Voracek were some of our strongest forwards. Umberger, Nash and Huselius have been invisible 5 on 5 in the past 5 games or so. We need these guys to score regularly.
After Phoenix's second goal, I just had a bad feeling. We didn't seem to have the legs tonight.
Derick Brassard had the lone tally tonight on the powerplay. He found loose change and didn't miss. I'm not sure where the 08-09 Brassard has gone. For the first 20 games last year, he was our best player... it wasn't even close. We need him to be effective 5 on 5, it's that simple.
I thought the overall defense was better, but it wasn't good enough.
What's the deal with all the undisciplined untimely penalties? It killed us tonight.
Credit to Rusty Klesla for putting his face in front of another puck. The guy sacrifices the body every shift and then he seems to finish the games. Another stitch job tonight for 97.
Mancrush of the Night: Jan Hejda. I'm not sure one guy makes this big of a difference, but I can't help but wonder. He upgrades our transition game and plays great defense.
Whipping Boy of the Night: Penalty Killing. We were on fire and unstoppable, but we seem to give up a goal a game lately, 3 in this one. This needs to get fixed quickly. I'd wonder if this is another Jan Hejda effect.
This was a bad one tonight, fellas. Fortunately we had a strong start to the year because we can withstand this rather that it bury us early. Comments, thoughts? Fire Away