Game 22 Recap: Thanksgiving Edition
Hi there!! It’s been tooooooo long. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to not call or text after we last hung out. I was abducted by a race of pirate dinosaurs and they kept me locked in a jail cell deep in the depths of Antarctica. Thankfully, a team of rogue, vigilante scientist cowboys rescued me and my other inmates. I was on a long, 2-week ocean journey back to the States. But I’m back baby! Want to get dinner tomorrow night?
Yes? No? Doesn’t matter. Such a bitch.
So this should be fun because I managed to fuck up my back at the gym or something and I needed to take a muscle relaxer. Moreover, I did not stop drinking. Let’s get this party started.
Period 1: Appetizer (really shitty appetizer that gives you food poisoning)
TANGENT 1: I am watching the Blue-Senators game. Does anyone find it odd that the Canadian Tire symbol is an upside down triangle with a wreath on top? Shouldn’t it be, you know, a tire or something related to tires or wheels or auto body shops or something even remotely connected to the general nature of automobile transport?
Oh we are doing this! I think we are. MacKinnon’s line to start the game. The MacKinnon line had a nice faceoff win and Iginla fed Landeskog in the slot, but Smith was there to stop it.
3 minutes in, Street and Vincour managed to find a 2 on 1 against Smith but Street’s shot was an easy one to stop.
After an awkward rush on Berra, which saw Johnson keep his man to outside, McLeod chose to fight Crombeen. Those two apparently hate each other. Okay then.
TANGENT 2: Haha Klinkhammer.
After a terrible give away by Guenin, the Coyotes were able to keep the puck moving in the Avs zone. Finally the puck came up high and the Vermette was able to make a great tip in front. 1-0 Coyotes.
Avs Monsters line came out and had a great shift. The line saw Duchene eventually come out and feed Cliché right in front. Unfortunately, nothing doing.
The next three minutes finally saw the Avs get some speed. The Duchene line managed to produce movement through Tippet’s trap but the Avs couldn’t threaten too much.
And just like the Coyotes took a 2-goal lead. This goal, again, is not on Berra. Holden went to reach and grab a shot from the point and bounced off of his glove and into the net. Ugh. 2-0 Coyotes.
And on the next shift it was 3-0. Berra is done. Pickard is coming in because this is a disaster. Berra just blew it. PICKARD TIME!!!
With less than 8 minutes left, the 4th line came out that saw Carey with a nice shift, but unfortunately the Coyotes defense kept him to the outside.
The Coyotes just sat in the neutral zone as they will be doing for the next 45 minutes (fucking wonderful). Eventually they jumped on a weak dump in and brought it back to get a good chance.
With 1:20 left, Briere managed to find a semi-breakaway but Smith made a very nice move on Briere's shot as the puck rolled on him. Period over.
Systems Summary: Not good. Well, Berra wasn’t good. At all. Everyone else was meh. Arizona had some nice tips and that is really attributed to the Avs system allows Arizona shots that could be tipped, let alone the Coyotes’ stick being free. Offensively, the Avs had no rhythm at all. It is looking ore and more like the offense feeds off Johnson and Barrie performing good breakouts.
Period 2: Main Course (moderately better main course that takes the appetizer taste out of your mouth)
45 seconds in and the Avs managed to get a power play.
PP1: Arizona had a very aggressive PP that forced two easy clears by their defense. Duchene’s unit was off the ice and MacK was on. Power play over. If you even want to call it a power play.
Ugh, this is going to get boring as fuck. [EDITOR'S NOTE: How I love being wrong in this regard]
Well maybe not. After a nice and finally break by Iginla. He spun to the far board, left it for MacKinnon who passed to Landeskog who fed Johnson in the slot but he just missed. Then the puck came back around to Iginla who found Johnson streaking to the slot again. Johnson took a nice shot that Smith stopped but Landeskog found the rebound, pull it near side and lifted it high over Smith. 3-1 Coyotes.
The AHL line came out and had a nice, hard working shift that saw them get the puck into the zone and draw a tripping penalty. Great shift and now it was time for the Avs top players to take advantage.
PP2: The MacKinnon line came out and finally managed to set up but Smith had to make a really nice save down low. Duchene’s unit came out next and found some space. They had great movement but couldn’t do any damage.
The PP was over but the Duchene line kept buzzing and forced Smith to make some nice saves.
After all that pressure the Avs 4th (otherwise called shit) line decided to stop trying. Phoenix kept and kept gaining possession until Pickard had to make a few nice saves down low. I get Cliché has good positioning, but that’s about it. He made a nice tip to break up the play but then gave the puck away.
The MacKinnon line came out and saw the Avs defense take their time to manufacture speed. Eventually Landeskog fed Iginla but he couldn’t put it by Smith.
With about 16 minutes done, the Avs were forced to take a penalty or at least took one, forced or not. MacKinnon in box for hooking on what on the replay was a weak call.
PK1: The Avs managed to steal the puck about 10 second in an get a 2 on 1o, but Smith made a nice leg save on Talbot. PK over.
The MacKinnon line stayed out and worked their way into the zone but the Coyotes defense collapsed before Smith was tested. Period over.
Systems Update: I mean, better, I guess. The Avs did limit the Coyotes to fewer shots but still had issues stretching the Arizona defense out. Tippet is going to shut shit down n the 3rd and the Avs better grind it out. I will say, until the penalty on MacKinnon, the Avs zone defense was doing a much better job of limiting the Coyotes. After the penalty, the Avs seemed to fall back into their chasing the puck defense.
Period 3: Desert (a delicious selection of all that is comestible perfection)
The Duchene line came out and saw the Coyotes trapping the hell out the zone. Roy made a nice adjustment and put out his AHL line to do their job. He switched up to the MacKinnon line who took their time controlling the puck and getting a break out. After a Landeskog entry, he fed MacKinnon who ripped a wrist shot and out came the rebound. The rebound came down low to Iginla behind the net. He fed MacKinnon low in the near circle who took a shot/pass at Smith. Landeskog forced his way to the front, found a rebound in front and scored between Smiths legs while falling. 3-2 Coyotes.
The following shift saw Duchene’s line come and start to buzz. You could see they had their legs and they wanted movement. After a few bounces, the Duchene line sped into the zone on a broken 3 on 2. Eventually O’Reilly fed Barrie took a long shot that Smith needed to block down. The Duchene line kept cycling and Duchene kept finding the puck behind the net. Spin after spin after spin but he finally fed Briere in front and the puck bounced of the defenseman and apparently behind Smith. The play went to video review…………and………GOAL!!!!!!!!!! Puck is past the line motherfuckers!!!! 3-3.
Hoo boy the game opened up after the last goal and the Coyotes were getting the best of it. Pickard had to make a tremendous save in close.
After a tough shift by Duchene, the MacKinnon line came out roaring. The line managed to break down the trap and fly into the zone. The kept firing shots but there was a mass of humanity in front. MacKinnon had two chances (at least. Fuck that if I am counting). Eventually all 5 coyotes skaters were within a 5 by 5 foot box in front of Smith. The Avs fired a shot that Smith saw and smothered.
TANGENT 3: McLeod is becoming a liability.
The Duchene line then came flying out after a beautiful Briere pass across the neutral zone. Duchene fired a slap shot with a rebound right to Briere who took another shot but Smith was there.
The MacKinnon came back out to pepper Smith but again the Coyotes goalie was there.
TANGENT 4: The "MacKinnon dump in". If you ever want to see what an elite player can do, watch MacKinnon when he chooses to dump it in. He clearly knows Smith will play a wrap around so he fired a slap shot in the perfect spot in the corner, it hit of the boards, and dropped Like a god damn squash shot right where Smith cannot legally play it. It was fucking beautiful.
With just about 2 minutes left, both teams looked to press but also hold back on any aggressive forecheck.
TANGENT 5: Fuck tangents.
With 1:30 left, Roy chose to have the AHL line come out. He let MacKinnon and Duchene rest. MacKinnon’s line got 20 seconds and out came Duchene’s line, but period over and we are headed to OT.
Systems Summary: A great period. All period saw the Avs running their system, taking their time to ensure breakouts were done methodically even if it took an extra 10 seconds. There were a few break downs one the Avs tied it, but the Avs came out to play their game and win. And they did just that.
Overtime: After dinner drink (something that has that sweet, sweet aftertaste of victory)
And fuck. FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. PLEASE DON’T BE AN EYE. PLEASE OH PLEASE. Johnson was off on his own power, but had to go to the locker-room for the Concussion stuffs. We’ll see. Hope and pray.
After Duchene made an amazing move, he basically jock-ed Yandle out of his pants and Yandle pushed the net over Smith. Total bullshit non-call. Absolute crap. That should be delay of game. It does not fucking matter if it is unintentional or not, that's a penatly.
Regardless, there was no call. Still fucking bullshit but oh well. The next shift saw MacKinnon out with Briere. MacKinnon was sprung on rush but it was towards the end of his shift so he dumped it for Barrie. Barrie chased it down and managed to hold the puck against two freaking huge guys. Eventually Briere made it down the ice and got the puck from the corner from Barrie. Briere looked, fed Redmond streaking down to the far side but the puck deflected off the Coyotes player instead who swept his stick around instead past Smith; rather coincidental. 4-3 Avs. AVS WIN!!!
Third Whore: Johnson. He looked absolutely dominant all game. Just. Fucking. Dominant.
Second Whore: MacKinnon. He was the best player on the ice all game. He looked to be flying all day and I believe he is now finally recovered from his injury
First Whore: Duchene. He wasn’t as dominant all game like MacKinnon but when the 3rd period started, the Coyotes had absolutely no answer for him. None.
Next up: Tomorrow!!! At Chicago. I would bet 1000000000 Thomasbucks that Pickard gets the start. Let’s hope Johnson is okay.