Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/19/11
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- We don't want to jump to hasty conclusions, but in two games against what have to be considered Western Conference elite teams, the Coyotes have been absolutely steamrolled. Chicago's 5-2 win on Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena was arguably more one-sided than San Jose's 6-2 win in the season-opener because the Blackhawks not only revved up the offense, they suffocated the Coyotes' offense, outshooting them 35-16. "It's a reality check," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "It's too bad that you need reality checks now and then but it is what is." What it was is a reminder of how the Coyotes must play to be successful: get the puck in deep, forecheck the socks off the opposition, generate enough chances, limit their opponents' chances and always outwork their opponents. Phoenix was 0 for 5 on that stat sheet. "Give them credit, they beat us every way," captain Shane Doan said of the Blackhawks. "They played a lot faster than we did. We have to kind of rely on our effort and our jump and we didn't have enough of either." Again, we're just five games into the season so we don't mean to sound the alarm, but how long can the Coyotes survive without a couple of skilled skilled forwards to give them a fighting chance against the Detroits, Vancouvers, Chicagos and San Joses of the West? How long must general manager Don Maloney maintain a stiff upper lip as he extols the virtues of another mid-level addition to the roster? How long can Tippett convince the current group that there is hope when there has been no playoff payoff? How long will the NHL keep a city and franchise in limbo as it tries to save hockey in the desert? The Coyotes did their part in helping Chicago's cause Tuesday. They sleep-walked through the entire game, generating few chances because they failed to get the puck in positions where Chicago's mobile defensemen couldn't get to it quickly and start the Blackhawks' break-out. But Phoenix was still in the game after two periods, the beneficiaries of two fortunate bounces that helped them stay within 3-2 and then open the third period with back-to-back power plays. Instead of getting the equalizer or at least a little momentum for the stretch run, they gave away the game. Defenseman Derek Morris left an ill-advised pass for Radim Vrbata at the Coyotes' blue line. Chicago forward Dave Bolland stripped him and walked in alone on goalie Jason LaBarbera beating him with a short-handed goal that killed any thoughts of stealing two points. "It was huge," Blackhawks coach and close Tippett friend Joel Quenneville said. No doubt, but it also drove home the reality of what Chicago is and Phoenix is not: a team loaded with players for every role, not just the blue collar-ones. "Across the board we had all the lines contributing," Quenneville said. How nice it must be to have that potential end game. How nice it would be if Phoenix could rely on a Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp or Bolland to carry the load when the rest of the team doesn't bring it's A-game. It's getting old, talking about this, but as the camera caught Tippett late in the game, lowering and shaking his head his head, it made you wonder how long before this ownership saga and these talent deficiencies finally wear the Coyotes out.
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