Don’t worry, you haven’t accidentally discovered a tear in the space time continuum and been transported back to exactly this point one-year ago. The Phoenix Coyotes are really taking on the Detroit Red Wings again in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They just hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Last year’s series was viewed as one of the best of the 2010 playoffs. It was a back-and-forth affair where no team won two games in a row. While the Yotes had home ice advantage as the No. 4 seed, the Red Wings’ playoff experience, or Phoenix’s lack of it, won out in Game 7 in Glendale as Detroit advanced.
Although the Coyotes lost they impressed may people with their Cinderella season. The effort was made all the more impressive by the fact that their captain, Shane Doan, hurt his shoulder in the second period of Game 3 and was forced to miss the remainder of the series.
Despite not being able to play in most of the series last year, Doan thinks his team should have won but didn’t go as far as guaranteeing a victory this year.
“There’s a little bit of comfort there,” Captain Coyotes told Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf Monday morning. “Obviously Detroit has an incredible history with everything they’ve accomplished over the last 15, 20 years. At the same time we feel like we can play with them. We should have beat them last year. We had an opportunity to beat them last year and we let that slip away. We’ve got to find a way to do it this year.”
In the captain’s absence last year center Matthew Lombardi (one goal, five assists) and left wing Wojtek Wolski (four goals, one assist) picked up the slack leading the team in points for the series. Don’t expect a repeat performance from them this season though, Lombardi is now playing for the Nashville Predators while Wolski is a member of the New York Rangers.