‘Yotes Notes: Phoenix wastes Mike Smith’s effort, sees playoff chances dwindle
Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a hockey game. So, we will give you ‘Yotes Notes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Coyotes’ 2-0 loss to the Canucks on April 8.
Just two days after his fifth shutout of the season, Mike Smith was once again at his best Monday night. The Coyotes goaltender had an ax to grind with the Canucks, after getting pummeled by Alex Edler back on March 21, and boy did he ever make the most of his opportunity.
Smith stopped 40 of 41 shots, made several point-blank saves and even got physical with Alex Burrows on two separate occasions towards the latter stages of the second period.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough.
For a team still sitting on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture Monday night’s loss hurts.
Not only did it snap a three-game win streak, but the Coyotes wasted a remarkable effort from their goaltender.
Dave Tippett’s squad was slow to the puck, had trouble putting together a string of passes in the offensive zone, and more or less looked like a team not deserving of the No. 8 spot.
How bad was it?
A hooking call on Jason Garrison gave the Coyotes a power play and a chance to tie the game with 1:22 remaining. As was the case all night, though, Phoenix couldn’t generate any good looks against Cory Schneider. They did however create one for the Canucks.
Antoine Vermette tried to clear the puck out to the blue line, but his pass missed Keith Yandle’s stick and went all the way down to the other end of the ice and into the Coyotes’ goal. Dan Hamhuis was credited with the short-handed tally, but in reality, Phoenix surrendered a rare own goal on a power play.
It was just that kind of night.
Cory Schneider’s fifth shutout of the season tied Mike Smith for the league lead.
Ryan Kesler returned to Vancouver’s lineup for the first time in six weeks. The Canucks forward scored the game-winning goal unassisted in the first period.
Despite the loss, the Coyotes remain in ninth place in the Western Conference. Phoenix is currently three points back of Detroit.
The Coyotes continue their road swing through Canada on Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers. The puck is set to drop at 6:30 p.m. MST.