Coyotes close season with win in ‘hollow’ game

Apr 14, 2014, 4:56 AM | Updated: 3:20 pm
Follow @carternacke...

At 8:33 p.m. Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes’ 2013-2014 season officially came to a close.

The game, once possibly a playoff decider, was decribed as “hollow” by head coach Dave Tippett. His team may have emerged as the victor in a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars, but no matter the outcome, he and his squad will take in the playoffs from their couch for the second straight year.

“I was up awful early (Sunday morning) having a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise…just thinking about how this day could have been and really it (was) hollow,” said Tippett. “Standing on the bench, that’s a hollow game. That’s a very frustrating game for a coach.”

For the Coyotes, the close of the season saw them play their worst hockey of the year. The team lost seven straight games, one game away from the worst losing streak in franchise history. With just one win in April, the team managed to tally 11 goals while giving up a whopping 22.

Sunday’s game was full of moments that mirrored the season. The Coyotes fell behind early and played their best hockey while working to catch up. Once the game was tied, they drifted between mediocre and decent hockey, with a few good spurts of real puck sprinkled in.

“We’ve overachieved here,” said Tippett of the season. “Almost the identity is an overachievement and I didn’t feel like we overachieved enough. There were times when you could see it start to come but then there were times where we started to slip back and that was the frustrating part.”

The Desert Dogs were also without chief netminder Mike Smith for the 11th straight game. He hasn’t played since injuring his leg against the New York Rangers in late March. His replacement, Thomas Greiss, was decent in his stead though some felt that losing Smith was a turning point. Admittedly, Greiss gave up two goals of note that led to dropped points, but an entire season cannot be pinned on one man.

“You look through the season and you try to figure out where a point here or a point there could have made a difference and we didn’t find it,” said captain Shane Doan.

The next step for the Coyotes will begin Monday, as each player will sit down separately with both general manager Don Maloney and Tippett to discuss their future with the team and the upcoming season. With seven pending unrestricted free agents and one restricted, plans will have to be made sooner rather than later about the identity of the new Arizona Coyotes.

“I know some of these young players…are ready to come in,” said Tippett. “But how many of them or where they fit, that will depend on how the rest of the summer goes.”

Until next season, folks.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New York Islanders  at the UBS Arena on...
Kellan Olson

Lawson Crouse believes in Arizona Coyotes’ long-term vision, core

Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse spoke on his long-term commitment to the organization and what he sees for it in the future.
2 days ago
Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game at Gila River Are...
Arizona Sports

Lawson Crouse, Arizona Coyotes agree to 5-year extension

Agreeing to an extension before an arbitration on Monday, Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse will make $4.3 million on average each year.
2 days ago
Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Logan Cooley to play for U.S. at World Junior Championship

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley -- the 2022 No. 3 pick -- will represent the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.
3 days ago
Head coach of the Cleveland Monsters John Madden looks on from behind the bench against the Laval R...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes hire assistant coach John Madden

John Madden joins Andre Tourigny's coaching staff after spending the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant.
15 days ago
Zack Kassian #44 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Armstrong: F Zack Kassian perfect fit for new style of ‘Coyotes hockey’

Among the many moves the Coyotes made during the NHL Draft, the sneaky acquisition of veteran forward Zack Kassian could be very important.
18 days ago
Conor Geekie is drafted by the Arizona Coyotes during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at...
Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ draftee Conor Geekie sets goal to make impact in 1st season

Arizona Coyotes first-rounder Conor Geekie says he believes he can make the NHL in Year 1 and have an impact.
22 days ago
Coyotes close season with win in ‘hollow’ game