|Dave Vest |
Given what happened last night, the team photographer should have little trouble getting the players and coaches to smile for the camera.
The Coyotes, as you know, rallied from a three-goal deficit after two periods to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 5-4 in a shootout, to put the brakes on a five-game winless streak.
The impact this victory will have on the team’s push to secure a playoff berth over the next five weeks remains to be seen. It certainly has the potential to be the club's signature win of the season, much like a similar victory over Detroit last season turned out to be.
But here’s the catch. The Vancouver Canucks, aka the best team in the NHL, are next up on the schedule. That game will be played Tuesday night at Jobing.com Arena. And like there were at Saturday’s game, there will be pockets of fans cheering against the Coyotes in their own building. I am eager to see how the Coyotes will respond to what they accomplished on Saturday night. The momentum and confidence gained by beating the Red Wings in that matter will come in handy in such an important game.
The way I see it, the structure of this three-game homestand resembles a three-course meal at a fancy restaurant. The Detroit game on Saturday was the appetizer and the Calgary game on Thursday is the dessert. Those games are important games against quality opponents, no doubt. But Tuesday’s game against the league’s best team is the main course, especially considering what happened the last time the Coyotes played the Canucks at home.
Head Coach Dave Tippett gave the Coyotes a day off on Sunday. Hopefully, the break will serve defenseman Derek Morris
and center Martin Hanzal
well. Both are nursing lower-body injuries. Morris suffered his in the second period of Saturday’s game. Hanzal suffered his last week. He played Saturday at less than 100 percent yet was very effective. Both are considered day-to-day.
The Coyotes provided many memorable quotes after Saturday’s thrilling, come-from-behind victory over Detroit. Here are two of my favorites:
"I think that's a game even the Goldwater group would like." - Head Coach Dave Tippett.
“It was like the scene in that Monty Python movie where the guy is screaming 'Bring out your dead, bring out your dead' and finally we decided to scream out that 'We're not dead yet!'” - captain Shane Doan
, to NHL.com.
Photo by Getty Images
Kudos to Glendale’s own Jordin Sparks for her rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" before Saturday’s game. Sparks, of course, won the the sixth season of "American Idol" when she was 17 years old and has been recording and touring ever since.
I wasn't the only one who enjoyed her performance.
“It was incredible,” Coyotes center Kyle Turris, aka @kyleturris, tweeted after the game. “Gave me chills standing on the bench!”
High praise indeed. And from a Canadian no less!
Reach Dave Vest at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.