The Coyotes have fallen into the bad habit of giving up early goals against.
It is like any golfer making bogie or double to begin the round. The positive is it gets your attention right away, but the big negative is this is play off hockey right now and spotting teams like Columbus, Detroit and Nashville 1-0 leads is not the type of mental mindset you want to get yourself into as you try to get above the 8th place line.
Lets take a look back at the last 3 games on this ever important road trip:
@ Columbus = goals against :21 into game. Coyotes rally brilliantly and win 4-2 behind rookie Peter Mueller's 2 goals
@ Detroit = Zetterberg scores from behind net 3:54 into a game that saw the Coyotes initiate in every zone. They lead 2-1 for the 4th time vs Detroit only to lose the game 3-2.
@ Nashville = Legwand deflects shot past Bryzgalov only 3:31 into game, but again the Coyotes get better as game goes on and they rally to tie the game with just under 3:00 to go before Radulov wins it for the Pred's in OT.
The road trip continues in Denver on Monday where there is a good chance Mikael Tellqvist will get the nod.
Although Ilya Bryzgalov has given up early goals, he has given the Coyotes a chance every night as he continues to come up with that jaw dropping, momentum gaining save that can lift a bench.
The Coyotes failed to convert on a full 2 minute PP at 14:31 of the 2nd period, even when Wayne Gretzky called a time out midway through the PP. It was a PP that was far too obvious, with very little movement and an easy one to defend against, with all die respect to the PK unit of the hard working Pred's.
Dan Carcillo fought Darcy Hordichuk and increased his PIM lead in the NHL. He also received an extra 10 for a game and another 10 for a misconduct as he pushed away linesman Jay Sharrers slightly after the fight as Sharrers had a firm grip on the rookie forward. Carcillo took it out on the hallway on his way to the room. His night was done.
A player that doesn't get enough credit has been LW Mathias Tjarnqvist as he continues to put his body on the line, especially while on the PK. He lost his stick, blocked a shot with his hand, and then made a great skate save doing the splits on the next hard blast. He went back to the bench and every player was up on their skates, banging their sticks on the boards. He is a glue guy on this team. The players just love him. He turned the emotionally level up in the game and that in itself may have lead to the important point. you can't have enough guys this time of year that will put their bodies on the line every shift.