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The Desert Dog Blog: Coyotes Will Enter Game 4 with Nothing-to-Lose Attitude

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – Trailing 3-0, the Coyotes will enter Game 4 of their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series with Detroit on Wednesday night a desperate hockey team in need of four consecutive wins just to advance to the second round.

It certainly won’t be an easy task. Only three NHL teams have ever climbed from a 3-0 playoff ditch.

Photo by Associated Press.
“I’m sure there’s not a lot of hope outside of this room, but we’ve been a team that’s battled through a lot of adversity all year,” Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko said after the team’s optional practice on Tuesday. “…We’re just taking it one (game) at a time.”

Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov echoed Schlemko when asked about the team's approach to getting back into the series.

"We just can't give up," Bryzgalov said. "We just have to step onto the ice and play hard and try to win the game. If we win we're going to stay alive... You never know what's going to happen. Maybe our luck is going to change and we'll get fortunate bounces and will start to win some games. It's a really thin line in hockey. Sometiems we hit the post and pucks go out and sometimes we hit the post and pucks go in... That's why we have to continue to play hard and work hard and try hard."

In order to force a Game 5 on Friday in Detroit, the Coyotes must snap a four-game losing streak to the Red Wings on home ice in the playoffs.

The Coyotes players I spoke with on Tuesday vowed to enter Game 4 focused but looser than they were in the first three games of this series.

“Sometimes, in (the) playoffs you get a little uptight, but I think we have nothing to lose now,” defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. “Our backs are against the wall, obviously, and we have to find a way to see another day. We’ll talk about what we have to do, but I think for the most part we all know what we have to do.”

With TV cameras rolling, I asked captain Shane Doan if he liked his team’s chances in Game 4. He advised everyone not to count the Coyotes out.

“We’ve been able to win games before when we needed to and we need to find a way to win this next one,” Doan said. “And after that you go to Detroit and hope you find a way to win one there, which we were able to do last year in the playoffs.”

Head Coach Dave Tippett also spoke about not crowning the Red Wings champs of this series after three games.

“Last time I looked, you’ve got to win four to win a series,” Tippett said, “and nobody’s won four yet.”

Reach Dave Vest at and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
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