Coyotes Road Trip: What a Difference a Day Makes
“What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours brought the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain.”
Renee Olstead’s words fits well when summarizing the Phoenix Coyotes five-game road trip.
After starting off the trip with two less-than-stellar performances against the San Jose Sharks (1-4) and New York Islanders (1-6) the Coyotes came back in style to grab three straight wins against the Detroit Red Wings (4-2), Philadelphia Flyers (2-1) and Carolina Hurricanes (5-3).
The doomsday clocks starting ringing after the loss in New York, as fans and hockey aficionados thought the season was already over and that the Coyotes could return home with five straight losses. Instead the desert dogs pulled themselves together and on back-to-back nights managed to win in Detroit and Philadelphia. A lot of people consider Joe Louis Arena and Wells Fargo Arena to be two of the toughest arenas in the league to be the away team.
After a great game against the Red Wings, where Derek Morris was the star of the game with a goal and an assist, the Coyotes grinded out a victory against the struggling Flyers, with Thomas Greiss putting in a great display in his first start for the Coyotes. Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the game-winning goal and logged 25:28 in ice time.
It seems like enough was enough for coach Dave Tippett after the loss in New York and he probably gave the team a real talking to, as you could more or less see smoke coming out of his ears after that game. The team responded, some changes to the lineup was made (Lessio and Brown was sent down, Bissonnette came back from his suspension and Kennedy was called up from the AHL), and all of a sudden the Coyotes were scoring goals and getting back into the old Coyotes style of play.
The trip concluded with a goal fest in Raleigh, where Coyotes showed great composure despite the Hurricanes tying the game three times. There was several unnecessary penalties taken in that game which gave Carolina the opportunity to keep the game alive. But in the end the Coyotes left with a 5-3 victory which must have made the flight back to Phoenix a lot more pleasant.
Things are looking good for the Coyotes and now they will have to transfer the success of the last road games to home ice as the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings comes to visit Jobing.com Arena this week.
Three stars of the road trip:
1. Derek Morris (2 G 2 A)
2. Mikkel Boedker (2 G 2 A)
3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2 G 24:08 TOI/G)