Okay, so I actually had time to sit through my first "new" Coyotes game as they played Detroit on the road tonight.
I thought it was played at a good clip. Detroit seems a little off from their dominance, but I know they've been battling some injuries. Heck, even Chelios got in the game for his first in a half dozen.
Overall, for the fact that Phoenix is both a new and young team, and still putting the pieces together, I thought they played a powerhouse like Detroit very well. They didn't take a penalty until the middle of the third period, which unfortunately for them, the Red Wings capitalized on.
But, the Coyotes scored themselves to force the tie and the game into overtime. Detroit would score towards the end to get the extra point.
I'll point out a few things in regards our departed Ranger. He got top line minutes again, playing with Matthew Lombardi. He started the game with a check. And when countryman Zbynek Michalek got checked into the boards on an icing, who was the first guy to come in to make sure his teammate was taken care of?
Yeah, he did that too. Not at all surprising to those who know him.
I didn't appreciate Detroit's announcers speculation when discussing Prucha's diminished goals in recent years. They said he had 7 goals last year and that perhaps the Rangers had lost patience with them.
Wayne Gretzky might not have more patience for that, they said.
Some players need to be traded to realize what they are doing wrong.
Perhaps Don Maloney played the "change of scenery" angle.
So yeah, I didn't appreciate what they were saying, but that is probably how outsiders will view the situation, so I can't blame them for it.
I'm just hoping, as many of us surely are, that he proves them all wrong. That his diminishing numbers were due overall to circumstances beyond his control and perhaps, at least during 2007-2008, a little injury bad luck as well.
And that he proves us right, of course.
So Prucha played 27 shifts for 20:33 of TOI.
Wow. Somewhere in Western Canada, Tom Renney just swallowed his gum!
He was also - hold onto that gum, Tom - on the ice for the end of the third with a tie game, and - wait for it - on the ice in overtime, for what is definitely the first time all year.
Again, small details, but I am guessing Wayne Gretzky has liked what he has seen so far from his new winger.
Overall, a nice change of pace for me. As I have never been a fan of Detroit, I can honestly say that pre-Prucha, I would not have watched a Red Wings/Coyotes game, this close to playoffs, with so many other games going on tonight with bigger meaning.
But post-Prucha, I gladly would, and I gladly did.
For some reason I couldn't post the other day, but here is Pete's assist on Upshall's goal back on Sunday on Long Island:
A question for anyone who might know. I checked the Phoenix roster, and since I hadn't keep track of them, minus Shane Doan, and a random look now and then, I was surprised to see that there wasn't a player assigned #25.
So does that mean Prucha took #16 willingly? Or given that Dawes was #14, Lombardi #15, and Prucha #16, are they just throwing numbers in sequential order at them?
He wore #73 in Czech Republic, no?
I mean 16 is a nice number, and both numbers 2+5 and 1+6 equal 7, so that's nice too. I'm just curious.
And Where Are They Now/Tonight's Edition:
Team Player Action Note
New Jersey Brendan Shanahan PP Assist
Montreal Mathieu Schneider 2 Assists
Florida Radek Dvorak Assist
Minnesota Kim Johnsson Assist