The Phoenix Coyotes had every reason to concede the Western Conference finals to the Los Angeles Kings.
They had been overwhelmed in opener, lost their composure in Game 2 and found themselves on the brink of elimination despite playing better the third game. Even with a sweep, it would have been considered a good season in Phoenix.
That's just not the makeup of this team.
These desert dogs are at their best when cornered and they took the first step toward digging out of a monumental hole by beating the Kings 2-0 in Los Angeles on Sunday.
There's still a long way to go, starting with Game 5 Tuesday night in the desert, but a chance, even just a slight one, is all this team seems to need.
''We had no other choice; if we didn't show up yesterday, we wouldn't be talking today,'' Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata said Monday after Phoenix's optional practice at Jobing.com Arena. ''We're in the same situation tomorrow. We put ourselves in a bad situation, but tomorrow's mindset will be ...