Found February 12, 2012 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
A season-high five-game winning streak has helped vault the Phoenix Coyotes into the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Coyotes have already knocked off two of the conference's division leaders during their run, and they'll look to add the Northwest-leading Vancouver Canucks to the list Monday night at Rogers Arena.
After putting together just one three-game winning streak over the first four months of the season, Phoenix (27-21-8) has opened February with five consecutive victories. The sudden surge, which includes wins over Central-leading Detroit and Pacific-leading San Jose, has helped the Coyotes move past four teams into eighth place in the West.
"We have to put a string together, and we hadn't had a sustained winning streak all year," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said after Saturday's 3-0 win over Chicago. "A sustained winning streak can get you right back to where you want to be. These five games have obviously been a great boost to us. We're playing better as a group. We're doing things that make you win."
Goaltending has been the biggest key.
Mike Smith has been between the pipes for each of the five games and has stopped 119 of 122 shots in the last four. He made 38 saves Saturday for his third shutout of the season.
"In the last two, three weeks, the guys in front of me have found ways to tie up sticks and let me see the puck," Smith said.
While Smith has been outstanding lately, he was shaky in the Coyotes' lone game of the season against Vancouver on Nov. 25. He stopped 32 shots but allowed goals to Sami Salo, Ryan Kesler, David Booth, Maxim Lapierre and Alexandre Burrows in a 5-0 home loss.
The Coyotes have lost three of the last four games with the Canucks, but have won the past two meetings in Vancouver.
The Canucks (34-15-6) return to Rogers Arena to open a three-game homestand after completing a four-game trip with Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to Calgary, the lone blemish of the trip. Vancouver rallied behind goals from Cody Hodgson and Booth after spotting the Flames two goals, but couldn't complete the comeback. Kesler was denied on his only shot, ending his career-best five-game goal-scoring streak.
The Canucks, who have earned points in nine straight games (6-0-3) and gone to shootouts in four of their last five, still took seven of eight points on the trip.
"It's always nice to get that many points, but it stings a little bit with that last one," Burrows said. "We'll take that and get ready for the homestand."
Roberto Luongo, 4-0-2 with a 2.35 goals-against average since Jan. 21, will likely need to be ready early as the Coyotes have scored in the first eight minutes of their last four games.
Radim Vrbata and Boyd Gordon struck in the first six minutes against the Blackhawks and Kyle Chipchura completed the scoring at 12:59 of the second period. Vrbata's goal was his team-leading 26th, giving him four goals and five assists in his last seven games.
Luongo didn't play in the first meeting with the Coyotes, but is 4-2-0 with a 1.50 GAA and two shutouts in his last six starts in the series.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Mats Sundin’s #13 banner was raised to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday night, and it made me think back to his time in Vancouver. Sundin, as you might remember, spent half a season in blue and green during the 2008-09 season. The Mats Sundin that Canucks fans got to see, at age 38, wasn’t of hall of fame caliber but he wasn’t a bust either.
GLENDALE, Ariz. Remember that story we wrote last week about the Coyotes likely ending up in eighth place in the Western Conference standings? Yeah. We're gonna need to revise that projection.
A few things have happened since then. The Blackhawks are now chasing the Columbus Blue Jackets instead of the Detroit Red Wings in the Central Division. The Los Angeles Kings have gone...
One of the players who is rumored to be on the trade block at this year`s deadline is Cory Schneider of the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver has two strong goalies in Schneider and Roberto Luongo and both would like to be the team`s clear number one goalie. Luongo is signed until 2022 with a $5.33 million salary cap hit. That contract is prohibitive to move. Schneider is signed...
Get with it, Seattle!
In recent weeks, a money manager from San Francisco named Christopher Hansen has apparently taken a much more serious look at a privately funded multi-purpose arena for the Seattle sports market. The main concern is to attract an NBA franchise back to the North West.
Since arenas are such expensive ventures, there would be a need to fill the proposed venue as...
Canucks look to continue dominance
The Vancouver Canucks will look to return home undefeated after a four game road trip. Standing in their way is the Calgary Flames, a team that has had their share of troubles with the Canucks over the past few years.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY!
Vancouver Canucks (34-15-5) at Calgary Flames (25-22-8)
The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames battled in a classic Northwest Division matchup featuring two fights and extra time as the Flames beat the Canucks 3-2 in the shootout.
Mason Raymond and Alex Edler were stopped in the skills competition and Jarome Iginla had his revenge on Roberto Luongo to seal it in the third round, keeping the Canucks from collecting...
It was a bit of a let-down last night in Cowtown for the Canucks but please allow me to brighten your morning.
Below is a collection of Canucks related stories from around the interwebz for you and your loved ones to feast your eyes on.
So without further ado, I present the greatest list OF ALL TIME.
What are the NWSB Staff saying?
Well to answer that question, just...
It was if we were transported back in time. Seeing Mats Sundin standing at center ice at the Air Canada Center receiving the plaudits and admiration of over 19,000 grateful Toronto fans for his great career.....a nice moment for a classy gentlemanâ¦â¦ and then the game began.
Apparently the current edition of the Blue-And-White decided to honor the former captain not only...
With former captain Mats Sundin on hand to have his number 13 raised to the rafters, the former Maple Leaf captain's scoring touch would have come in handy on Saturday as the Montreal Canadiens shutout Toronto 5-0 at the Air Canada Centre.
The Leafs outshot the Habs by a 32-18 margin, but were unable to finish as Carey Price stopped every shot he saw to earn his fourth shutout...
Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin and St. Louis left wing David Perron have been selected as the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending February 12.
The hard-luck Phoenix Coyotes had work to do when Ilya Bryzgalov bolted. No worries, says Adam Gretz. Enter rejuvenated goalie Mike Smith and Dave Tippett's resilient squad is on the postseason doorstep after five straight wins.
There’s that shootout again…
There was a time when a Vancouver Canucks/Flames game was appointment viewing. If games against the Oilers over the past decade have been defined by speed and skill displays, contests against the Flames have traditionally been trench wars.
The rivalry has waned in recent years as the Flames and Canucks have chased completely different trajectories...
The Phoenix Coyotes will try to extend their season-high win streak to five games when they host the sliding Chicago Blackhawks in tonight's clash at Jobing.com Arena.