Found May 16, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, secondary scoring will only take a team so far. It got the Coyotes past a Chicago Blackhawks team with no depth and a shaky goaltender in the first round. Then it carried them past a Nashville team that couldn't establish its style and dealt with the distraction of two suspended stars. But here, in the Western Conference Final against the hottest team in the postseason, the Coyotes need their stars to be stars. They haven't been, as chief offensive threats Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney have been virtually invisible while the Los Angeles Kings grabbed a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night. "We need everybody to give a little more," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said after his team's 4-0 loss. "Those guys aren't excluded from that, obviously." Vrbata and Whitney were as invisible after Tuesday's loss as they have been on the ice in Games 1 and 2. Martin Hanzal was also absent after being ejected from Tuesday's game for misconduct -- leaving defenseman, third-line forwards and a brutally honest goaltender Mike Smith to answer for the Coyotes' woes Tuesday night. "If we had converted whatever opportunities (we had), maybe it would have been a different game," said Taylor Pyatt, who moved up to the Hanzal-Vrbata line in a pre-game shake-up designed to invigorate the attack. "I thought we had some stretches where we were a little bit better this game. We had some pressure in the offensive zone, some good opportunities. We've just got to find some positives if we can and go from there." The normally productive Hanzal-Vrbata-Whitney line, after being slowed by injuries in the Chicago series, combined for nine points in the first two games against Nashville but has been mostly quiet since. Tippett said Tuesday that the Coyotes have been unable to capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by the Kings. "When you're looking to make those opportunities count, our margin for error is very slim," Tippett said. "That's the difference in where we are now compared to Nashville. The (opportunities) went in (against) Nashville, and here we haven't been able to bury them." For the Coyotes to climb out a 2-0 hole -- with the next two games on the road -- they will have to take advantage of just about every opportunity they get. That will likely have to start with Vrbata and Whitney, the guys paid to put the puck in the net. Tippett believed his team was better in stretches Tuesday than it was in Game 1 on Sunday. He saw things he thinks the Coyotes can build on for Game 3 on Thursday. "I think in Game 1, if you look back, we were a team (that wasnt) sure how it was going to," Tippett said. "It took us a while to figure out that the bar goes up every round."

Coyotes goalie slashes Dustin Brown

The NHL’s Western Conference Finals series has gotten a bit ugly. The Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings clearly don’t like each other and it is starting to show. Aside from the normal chippy hits that happen from time to time, the Kings have certainly gotten under the skin of the higher-seeded Coyotes. After taking Game 1 in Phoenix, Los Angeles was up 2-0 in Game 2...

Is the Phoenix Coyotes’ leading in suspensions in playoffs out of character?

The Phoenix Coyotes may have been leading the playoffs for most suspended games issues, but with the announcement of today’s suspension of Martin Hanzel for one game, the ‘Yotes now take ownership of most players suspended in the postseason. Hanzel was suspended today for one game for boarding Los Angeles Kings’ Dustin Brown in the third period. Hanzel became...

Dirty Coyotes: NHL Suspends Martin Hanzal

Martin Hanzal may not have a history of supplemental discipline, but he has been one of many Coyotes involved in dirty play in this postseason. Hanzal was personally called for two roughing penalties and one elbowing penalty in the first … Continue reading →

Coyotes Plan To Win The Battles Tonight

from Jerry Brown at, “Everybody’s going to work hard. It’s what you do after you get there that matters,” Tippett said. “We were around some battles. But once you get yourself into the battle, it’s the next step: How are you going to win that battle? (Boedker’s goal was) one of the few times we got in, separated somebody from the puck, had another guy there...

Coyotes Forward Martin Hanzal Faces Disciplinary Hearing for Boarding Dustin Brown in Game 2 (Video)

The Phoenix Coyotoes are on the verge of gaining a reputation they didn't exactly set out for this postseason. Forward Martin Hanzal will face a disciplinary hearing with the NHL Player Safety Department on Wednesday as a result of his boarding incident in Game 2 against the Kings on Tuesday. Hanzal pushed Dustin Brown from behind as the Kings forward approached the end boards...

Mike Smith does his best Ron Hextall impersonation

You know the announcers are right, this isn't new to the NHL and Ron Hextall would be impressed with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith  and his chop of the Kings forward Dustin Brown. I think when a goalie does this type of a bush leagues move it opens him up to reprisals. While I don't condone this move by Smith - sometimes this tactic works because it sends a message...

Doan, Hanzal may miss Game 3 after big hits

The Coyotes are down two games after being swept on home ice by the Los Angeles Kings, who have now opened three consecutive playoff series with a pair of road wins and appear to be a runaway train with a 10-1 record in the postseason. The question is whether the Coyotes will be down two of their three captains when the series resumes in Los Angeles with Game 3 on Thursday. Both...

The Understudy knows all the parts: Jason LaBarbera

I wonder if Jason LaBarbera wakes up at 3AM and wonders about how he arrived where he is right now. He’s Mike Smith’s backup, and a goalie who’s been on both teams in the Western Conference finals. (For the bar bet of the week, he’s also tended goal for the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers.) He’s been the #1 goalie in the minors, but other than one season with...

HockeyBuzz Wire: NHL Suspends Martin Hanzal for one game

The NHL has suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. In the third period of Game 2, Hanzal hit Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown from behind. Brown stayed in the game, while the Phoenix player received a major and a game misconduct. Hanzal has three goals and two assists in 10 playoff games to date. This is his first suspension...

Dustin Penner Correct in Calling Hits by Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan 'Reckless' (Videos)

There's been a lot of howling in the wake of Tuesday's Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, and it hasn't been from the Coyotes. Kings forward Dustin Penner said after the game that two questionable hits from Phoenix' Martin Hanzal and Shane Doan were "reckless," and he's spot-on in that assessment. Hanzal's hit, the far more egregious of the...

Two more bad hits from last night's game

At the 11:o1 mark of the third period Phoenix's Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal's drove the Kings forward Dustin Brown into the boards with push check. Hanzal was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for this play and could end up with a hearing with the Department of Player Safety for this hit. The Coyotes forward Shane Doan was given a five minute major and...

Hanzal gets 1-game suspension for hit on Brown

NEW YORK (AP) -- Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal has been suspended one game for a hit on Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown. The NHL announced the penalty Wednesday, a day after Hanzal was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding at 11:01 of the third period in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals series. Hanzal will miss Game 3 on Thursday night...

Video: Hanzal boards Brown

In tonight's Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal picked up a major boarding penalty and game misconduct for this hit on Kings captain Dustin Brown:Hanzal doesn't have a supplementary discipline record with the NHL, but that will change in the next few days. He deliberately shoved a vulnerable Brown into the end boards on what was a needless...

Match-Ups May Be Difficult For Phoenix

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, The Kopitar unit with Brown and Justin Williams murdered the Coyotes all night long with stretches in the Phoenix defensive zone and created numerous scoring chances aside from the two goals the line produced. The line combined for 15 shots, Brown leading the team with seven and Kopitar had six. Know this: It’s going to be a short series unless the...
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