For the first time this postseason, the Phoenix Coyotes
are facing a “must-win” scenario.
Because, while a loss Tuesday in Glendale would not mean
their postseason run is over, it would be really tough to
come back in the series, especially with the next two
games being played in Los Angeles.
“It’s a huge game, we definitely have to play better,”
defenseman Derek Morris said after the team’s morning
skate Tuesday. “You can say it’s a must-win, whatever
happens happens, but we’re going to go out there and I
know we’ll have a better effort.
“If we go out there and play the way we can and play
better the outcome will be a lot better.”
Playing better has been the theme ever since the horn
sounded on the team’s 4-2 loss in Game 1, as the Coyotes
were out-shot, out-hustled and out-played.
They know a similar performance simply will not do, and
that’s why, to a man, the team has vowed to come out and
play better Tuesday night.
“We want to win this game bad, and we have that mind-set,”
forward Mikkel Boedker said. “We want to win every game,
but this one especially in front of our home crowd that’s
been great all playoffs.”
Boedker said the game will “come down to the wire again,”
which is something the team has actually taken some solace
in from the opener. Because, while the team essentially
laid an egg on the ice, they were tied at two heading into
the third period.
“We went into that with the same feeling, we had a chance
to win a game even though we hadn’t played or hadn’t done
enough with the puck that we’d like to,” head coach Dave
Tippett said. “It was an opportunity to win a game.”
The Coyotes will get another chance, and they do so
knowing that their next 60 minutes of hockey will be their
most important to date.
“Every game in the playoffs is a must-win,” center
Antoine Vermette said. “You want to win every game;
there’s so much at stake in those games.”
Like, potentially, any chance the team has of beating the
Kings and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this