“…you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” – Dirty Harry
What was perceived pure luck at the beginning of the season, the Phoenix Coyotes have not only turned heads, but turned people into fans. A story that will rival that of the Bad News Bears, a team that had nothing, back against the wall, franchise going under, is now fighting in game 7 of the 2009 – 2010 NHL Playoffs against the the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings.
The two teams come into this series with many different strengths and weaknesses, but all the same, they come in wanting to win. Or so it seems.
I’ve seen many games in my day, both watching and playing, and I know a team when they are hungry. To me, the Detroit Red Wings are not hungry, they lack the needed drive that their opponents the Coyote’s have. You beg to differ perhaps? Matt reminded us all of the “Doan Face”, an image of pure craziness and pure intensity. The Red Wings, they don’t have that.
In game 6 of the series at the Red Wing’s home ice of the Joe Louis Arena, the Wing’s got off to a bad start. Defenseman Brad Stuart coughed up the puck on one of the most dumb moment hockey I have seen in a while. Trust me people, playing with the other writers on this blog, I’ve seen some dumb moment hockey before. The lackluster, dumb hockey continued throughout the game for the Wings.
Looking at the other end of the ice, the Phoenix Coyotes scored 3 power play goals, and to put a cherry on top, they also scored a shorthanded goal within the first 5 minutes of the game. In the corners the Coyotes were out hustling the Red Wings. They were first to the puck, toughest on the puck, and overall played harder.
Perhaps I am being a little harsh on the Red Wings, maybe, maybe not. Matt and I may agree that the Coyotes will win in game 7, but we do disagree on one thing; it is not that Detroit will be bad enough to lose, but that the Phoenix Coyotes are a better team. The passing of the flame starts tonight, as the old, tired, Detroit Red Wings will learn that being a slow skating puck position team is not what will earn you a win, it is hard work of every shift and the faster open ice game that will advance you in the playoffs.
I look forward to wearing my Coyote’s hat after tonight without the ridicule of my family, friends and neighbors.