Things couldn’t have started much worse for the Phoenix
Coyotes in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal
series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews scored just 4:04 into the game to give
Chicago a 1-0 lead, and Coyotes’ leading goal scorer Radim
Vrbata took a shot from Andrew Shaw during his second
shift on the ice which left him sidelined for the rest of
The ‘Yotes got over the first hurdle, scoring a 3-2
overtime win to grab the series lead. The second hurdle
might be a little tougher to overcome as Vrbata could be
out for Saturday’s Game 2 and beyond.
“Day-to-day,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said about
Vrbata Friday morning. “He was in this morning and got a
workout, we’ll see where he’s at (Saturday) morning.”
NHL teams aren’t required to elaborate on player injuries,
but Tippett did say Vrbata’s ailment is of the “upper-
Not having Vrbata in the lineup definitely puts a kink in
the Coyotes’ offense, unless of course they continue to
get lamp-lighters from less likely sources.
Taylor Pyatt, Antoine Vermette and Martin Hanzal all
scored in Game 1. That trio combined for 20 goals during
the regular season – 15 less than Vrbata’s tally.
The Coyotes take their 1-0 series lead to the ice against
Chicago Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.