Not a lot has gone right for the Phoenix Coyotes in their first two playoff games in Detroit against the Red Wings.
But with the series shifting to their home ice for Monday night's Game 3, Coyotes' General Manager Don Maloney joined Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf Monday morning to discuss what his team needs to improve on. And in Maloney's eyes, much of the Coyotes' woes through the first two games center around the lack of stopping, or at least slowing, the Red Wings' red-hot center Pavel Datsyuk.
"(Datsyuk's) a terrific player," Maloney said. "But in every sport you can't let the best in the game (have) time and space; they'll hurt you every time. Let somebody else beat us; let's not let him beat us."
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Datsyuk has had all the time and space he's needed, killing the Coyotes with two goals and three assists helping the Wings stroll out to a 2-0 series lead.
Beyond Datsyuk though, Maloney believes the team has to take a long look at itself and play above their expectations.
"Our team is all about the pack, the group, the 20 guys playing," Maloney said. "And right now if you ask me who is playing just (at) expectations, I think 5 of the 20 guys (are just meeting that level).
One Coyote who has been anything but average is captain Shane Doan.
"Shane Doan certainly has been above expectations," Maloney said. "He's been fantastic in every area of the game."
And it's hard to disagree with Maloney's analysis on Doan, who has led Phoenix with two goals, four points and 10 registered hits through the two games.
Doan almost led the Coyotes back from an early hole to steal Game 2 but the 4-0 deficit proved to be too much to overcome. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has taken some heat for allowing the Wings to jump out to a quick lead with three first period goals but Maloney praises his composure during the Coyotes late comeback.
"Bryz made four or five highlight reel saves," Maloney said. "We needed that and he needed that."
Looking forward to Monday's game, the Coyotes will have to hope that Bryzgalov can solve his playoff struggles against Detroit.
In eight playoff starts against the Red Wings, Bryzgalov has allowed a 4.00 GAA with a .901 save percentage, far worse than his 2.38 GAA and .921 save percentage in his 25 career playoff games.
Even so, Maloney still has the utmost confidence in his goalie after the way he persevered following the Red Wings' four goals in Game 2.
"Having him play the second half of that game as well as he did certainly bodes well for us going forward," Maloney said. "We are (only) as good as the guy in the net makes us."