Chicago, IL — For those of you who have never seen this masterpiece of a film-sarcasm- “Coyote Ugly” 1 is when you wake in the morning after a one-night stand and harsh reality and regret sets in at dawns light. You realize your arm is underneath someone you really do not want to be with let alone talk to. Coyotes are known to gnaw off their own limbs to get out of traps and that is what you feel like doing to get out of the situation without having to deal with the person your now lying with.
The Phoenix Coyotes must now feel like they are trapped in a vice. For two games in their territory now they have given up late game goals to let the Chicago Blackhawks back into games. This is something you really don’t want to do in the playoffs, let alone against a team with tons of firepower. The Blackhawks scores came from unlikely sources in Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell which, just shows the Coyotes must pay attention to everyone on the Hawks ice.
The Coyotes probably woke up this morning feeling Coyote Ugly and probably dreamed of Brent Seabrook blasting away from the point. Phoenix Goalie Mike Smith’s frustrations were evident when he slammed his stick to the ice after letting in a Patrick Sharp redirect from a Seabrook blast. For the second time in three nights, Seabrook was instrumental in forcing Phoenix into winning in overtime. I’m sure if they never saw Seabrook again it would not be a moment too soon for them. Unfortunately for Phoenix, they will be seeing a lot more of number 7 as this series is only just beginning.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs anything can happen in overtime and it usually does. This is where the separations of teams happen. Overtime brings out those who are composed under pressure and those that make mistakes. Those that can recover from mistakes and those that can not. Confidence and patience is needed to not panic and this is where experience comes into play. The Coyotes have never won a playoff series and the Blackhawks well, won a Stanley Cup not that long ago.
The Coyotes play a physical style of game yet the Blackhawks were the ones in the end that had Phoenix so exhausted they made a crucial mistake in their own end of the ice which they never do. Letting the Chicago Blackhawks take a game in Phoenix now gives them home ice advantage as the series switches to Chicago’s United Center. Captain Jonathan Toews said in a post game interview that once you have an advantage you must not let it go.
This series is far from over. The Phoenix Coyotes will not be giving up or going away. The Blackhawks will have to employ patience and not panic even when they are down just like they did in these two games in Phoenix. The difference why they walked away with a win in this game and a lost in the first was their determination and somehow they wore down the Coyotes physically. If they can keep winning like this they will wear the Coyotes down mentally and at that point the series will be over.
The Hawks need to just keep blasting away at Mike Smith and take care of the puck in their own zone and they should come out of this on top. Take shots even at weird angles look at the Toews goal in the first game you never know.
Goaltending was the talk by all the experts yet Corey Crawford had stood his ground and is keeping pace with Mike Smith and that is all he needs to do. The Hawks have a better team in front him so he just needs to be spectacular at key points in the game. He was outstanding in the overtime and that was also the difference as he gave his team a chance and that is all these Hawks need.
The scene now shifts from the desert to the windy city where the Blackhawks have a huge advantage with their crowd in the UC but they must not squander it. They will still need to go back to Phoenix and play a game.
The series is intriguing and it will be very interesting to see how Phoenix now reacts as the Hawks have I believe taken their best shot and came out standing. This is a test for Phoenix to be sure. Chicago did not let their fall in the first game keep them down, we will see if Phoenix can rebound as easily as Chicago did.
The thing about regret is it can gnaw at you if you let it which is longer lasting than gnawing off any limb. If the Blackhawks can give the Coyotes one more “Coyote Ugly” night this series maybe over. This should be the Hawks number one priority, make their evening dates with Phoenix as unpleasant for them as possible especially in Chicago. Make them doubt themselves. The Hawks want to be the ones leaving the Coyotes waking up in the morning thinking, how did we get here and what have we done?
1 taken 2000 touchstone pictures Coyote Ugly