Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yotes: From Detroit. . .

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.

Late Add-Ons:

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


Kerri said...

You heard those announcers too?

Please. If you don't know something, shut up about it. I don't get why these people bother to talk about things they don't understand. It's clear to anyone and everything that Prucha got an unfair shake here. Even if you thought he didn't deserve the ice time, there's not one question when it comes to his work ethic. Ask his teammates. Even ask the coach who scratched him so often.

-ahem- I'm sorry. But I was fuming mad when I heard that. They should shut up if they have no idea about something.

Also, Phoenix is the only relocated franchise to keep their old retired numbers. Thomas Steen's number 25 was retired by the Winnipeg Jets, thus the number was unavailable to Prucha.

As for number 73, IDK why Petr didn't go back to that. I'm not sure if he was just assigned a number, or if he had any preference.

kels said...

I didn't have to look to hard for my answer. Thanks Kerri!

Seriously all I know about the Jets from back in the day was Teemu Selanne and the White Out.

I'm not surprised we reacted similarly to their announcers. It's like, I know they have to study up stats and prepare, but I hate out and out speculation.

It would be like if commentators were to "assume" that Valiquette had a bad game because he let in 10 goals against Dallas, and go on and on about saying how he wasn't getting starts because of that last effort he had. Without knowing that the defense played a game of statue tag in that game and left him out to dry and the fact that that game had nothing to do with why he didn't get another start in a while.

Perhaps a bad example, but that's all I can do on this little sleep.

Kerri said...

You're welcome! I had the same question. When I heard it was retired... I laughed "whhhhhaaaat?!" lol but turns out they kept the Jets retired numbers.

I agree. I do comment on other teams from time to time... but when you really don't follow someone or something that closely, it's hard to be a fair judge. With Prucha, this stuff is all over the place. "What happened to Petr Prucha?... He must be lazy... He must need a fire under his butt..." etc etc meanwhile that is the FURTHEST thing from reality.

I even saw one blog say that Prucha was almost sent to Hartford on a conditioning assignment because he was so out of shape.


Most recently, I saw one blog say that they were really unsure of Prucha, and that Sather must have just threw in Prucha to get rid of him. The trade was really for, get this, Dawes and Kalinin.

I set that one straight. KALININ? That's what set me over the edge, lol.

That's why I (mostly) keep my mouth shut about the rest of the league. Would never want to come across like that.

kels said...

I actually watched Sunday's Coyotes/Isles game last night because that's the first time I had the chance.

Those announcers - Rose/Jaffe - were actually pretty nice to listen to. And sounded complementary in speaking about Prucha and Dawes. When it came to Prucha, in fact, they said something that I believe translated to: Prucha as of recently was not given the ice time to be successful. Therefore a change of scenery, with Don Maloney, a guy they said called Prucha one of his all time favorite Ranger guys, would be good.

It was refreshing. And I know you must not have been paying attention to the game, well at least not til your blood pressure settled, ;), but I thought he played v. well. Almost scored a few times too.