Found April 13, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
San_jose_sharks_4479
GLENDALE, Ariz. Coyotes captain Shane Doan understands the difficulty of competing without a top player in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was there in 1997 when Jeremy Roenick blew out his knee in a knee-on-knee collision with Anaheim center Ted Drury in Game 6 of a seven-game series loss that Phoenix had led three games to two. He was there in 1998 when the Coyotes lost goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to a groin injury in Game 4, when they were leading Detroit two games to one. They also played without defenseman Teppo Numminen (groin) for all but one game of that series, which they lost in six. In 1999, they played all but one game of a seven-game series loss to St. Louis without Roenick (broken jaw), their leading scorer. And in 2010, Doan was the man missing after suffering a Grade 3 shoulder separation in Game 3 against Detroit. The Coyotes again were eliminated in seven, after leading two games to one. Now the Coyotes are facing life without leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata, who was injured on his first shift against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round series Thursday at Jobing.com Arena. Chicago wing Andrew Shaw injured Vrbata along the boards with a crunching hit, robbing the Coyotes of a guy who accounted for nearly one in every six goals they scored this season. The Coyotes are calling it an "upper-body injury" -- Shaw said he thought Vrbata's shoulder was injured. He scores goals that other people just dont, Doan said. If he hadnt been hurt this year for a little bit he probably would have gotten 40 (Vrbata had 35), and theres not many 40-goal scorers in the league. Losing him so early made it tough on the lines. It (created) some confusion with who youre going with. Mikkel Boedker was Vrbatas replacement on the Ray WhitneyMartin Hanzal line on Thursday, and coach Dave Tippett liked what he saw. But Tippett was non-committal when asked if that new line would remain intact for Game 2 on Saturday. Theres enough there that we can grab onto, but Im not sure where our lineup is going to be yet, Tippett said Friday. Well continue to monitor what we think works for us, the combinations, what might fall into place with different matchups, different scenarios to try to get your rhythm in a game. Vrbata is listed as day-to-day, but as is the custom in the NHL, Tippett wont disclose the nature of the injury, despite Shaws hunch. What are we going to call it? Uh, upper body, Tippett said before waxing comedic about the NHLs vague injury reporting protocol of dividing the body into upper and lower portions. A few years ago, we had to get into quarters. Now were into halves. The Coyotes played five games down the stretch without Vrbata when he was dealing with an allergic reaction to penicillin. Were used to finding ways to make due without him, Doan said. More to the point, the Coyotes feel they have the horses to handle the loss. Thats something thats a little new for our team, Doan said. In the past, you might not have the depth at every line. Our first line was Hanzal and Vrby and (Whitney), no doubt about that, but then, after that, theres there lines that can be in any order. That depth was on display when the Coyotes got secondary scoring from wing Taylor Pyatt and center Antoine Vermette in Thursdays 3-2 overtime win. They are hoping that asset will be enough to avoid having history repeat itself. Its pretty tough when you lose your best goal scorer, Hanzal said.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Hanzal comes up big for resilient Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Martin Hanzal fills a lot of roles. Hes the Coyotes' shutdown center against opponents' top talent. Hes an adept face-off man. He creates space for skilled wings Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney. Hes even a proud and attentive new father, as anyone who attended the Coyotes win over the Blue Jackets on April 3 can attest after watching him cradle 3-month-old...

Coyotes, Blackhawks adjust to lineup changes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Within the first five minutes of Thursday's Western Conference quarterfinals opener between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes, it was clear both teams were playing with a new dynamic. The Blackhawks got Jonathan Toews back after a 22-game absence related to a concussion, and the young center made his presence felt quickly with a goal four minutes...

Coyotes notebook: OEL making himself known

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Lost in the hysteria of the Game 1 WhiteOut, a blown late lead and Martin Hanzals overtime dramatics was that fact that 20-year-old defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson logged a game-high 31 minutes, 14 seconds of ice time. For those doing the math, yes, thats darn near half of Thursdays 69-plus-minute game. I felt pretty good, Ekman-Larsson said. I played with a lot...
NO MERCY

Video: Shaw ejected for hit

Andrew Shaw was ejected for hitting Coyotes goalie Mike Smith behind the net. It was one part of an eventful Game 2.

Drunk Coyotes Chick ‘Connie’ Missed Phoenix Beat Chicago In OT

Three items stand out in this video from last night’s Coyotes-Blackhawks NHL playoffs first-round game in Phoenix. (1.) St. Louis Blues fan is uber excited to be at a game featuring Phoenix & Chicago. (2.) Is Coyotes fan planning to take all five beer cups home with him? Having a hard time locating red Solo cups in the PHX, brah? (3.) Just look at the eyes on (we’re calling...

Coyotes get OT win over Blackhawks

Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without his stick during a power...

Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2, OT

Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without his stick during a power...

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Phoenix Coyotes Game 2

The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes will drop the puck tonight in Glendale, Ariz. for a Game 2 tilt. And there’s several factors in which the Blackhawks can capitalize to tie the series before going back to Chicago. Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes’ top goal-scorer left early in Game 1 with an upper-body injury. He’s day-to-day and will not play tonight. Mike...

Hanzal helps Coyotes top Blackhawks in Game 1

Martin Hanzal scored at 9:29 of overtime to lift the host Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Thursday's opener of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. Hanzal redirected Adrian Aucoin's shot from the right point past Corey Crawford for the dramatic victory. Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored second-period goals and Mike Smith turned...

Coyotes open playoffs with OT win vs. Chicago

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without...

Andrew Shaw Ejected After Taking Out Mike Smith

In Game 2 of the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks playoff series, Andrew Shaw received a game misconduct after colliding with Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. Smith stayed down on the ice for a while, seemingly in pain, but eventually decided to stay in the game, despite his concussion history. I’m having trouble deciding whether or not Smith deserves an Academy Award for...

Video: Shaw knocks over Smith

In the second period of Saturday's game in Phoenix, Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw ran into Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith behind the net. As Smith was playing the puck, Shaw skated behind the net, attempted to cause a turnover and barreled over Smith. The Coyotes goaltender was down on the ice for a few minutes before he stayed in the game. Meanwhile, Shaw was given a five-minute...

Blackhawks rally to stun Coyotes

Bryan Bickell had his second goal 11:36 into overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 on Saturday night after scoring in the closing seconds of regulation for the second straight game. Phoenix won the opener 3-2 in overtime after giving up a goal to Brent Seabrook with 14 seconds left in regulation. Sharp did it to the Coyotes with even less time in Game...

Hawks head back to Chicago tied with the Coyotes

The Phoenix Coyotes couldn’t pull away from the Chicago Blackhawks on a 5-minute major penalty to Andrew Shaw (who, perhaps accidentally, elbowed Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in the face), and after tying up the game late, Bryan Bickell ensured that the Hawks would head home from Glendale with a split:

Video- Coyotes Take Game 1 In OT

I watched the game last night but was too tired to wait, then post the GWG. So here it is,early then next morning and Martin Hanzal’s OT goal still looks as good as it did last night.
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.