Yotes 3 - Hawks 2, are we seeing a pattern?

When the Coyotes scored in the third, I started to leave the room to write this wrap; I had no doubt the game was over at that point. Before I could sit down to the computer to type, the Yotes had scored again. I texted someone in my family a message after the first period that the Yotes had already won the game. The Hawks came out flying, shooting, controlling the puck and Phoenix absorbed every bit of it. Hawks win a tie game? Phoenix wins two (now three). Hawks make questionable contact with Smith? Torres sacrifices his punk ass to knock Hossa out for who knows how long. The Yotes know how to play this team. If a Hawks player had the puck and did not have a Yotes hanging on him like a cheap suit, it's because that Hawk was not remotely in danger of putting the puck in net. Over and over and over, the Hawks came up the wall to Smith's right, went to the top of the slot and attempted to drive up the middle through three Yotes. It didn't work. If a Yote swept with his stick, it was going to hit the puck away from a Hawk carrying it. Like a fucking magnet or velcro.

Anyway, for two and a half periods, the Yotes frustrated the shit out of the Hawks, and as you can see above, the writer of this wrap. Then, Phoenix gives the Hawks a classic Yotes double tap to the head. Twice the Hawks got mugged defensively, and twice the Yotes dented twine. Just to make themselves and the fans more bitter, the Hawks then scored two goals, one each in the only two ways that you can on Smith. One the first, Brendan Morrison put a long shot on net that caught a bad deflection for Smith. On the second, Bolland played the odds to try a puck move around a defender, and whatya know?, after the Hawks had been stymied pulling that shit 75 times prior tonight, it worked this time and Bolland was able to shake his defender, get the puck on net, and Frolik picked up a garbage goal. You don't score on Smith any other way. But, of course, overtime means that we go right back to playing choke hockey where the first team to make a mistake will lose. This is not something the Yotes remotely fear. So, as I said in the comments on the last thread, the Hawks must score three goals IN REGULATION to beat this team. And of course, the goal that goes in to win the game was a very shitty goal to give up.

Specific blame right now seems kinda pointless. Tippet and the players he has were made for each other. It's taken them several seasons now to perfect the art of choke/trip/douchebagging their way to winning games. However, make no mistake, that team works it's ass off every night, fears no one, and plays with a contempt for every team they face. Tonight, with the exception of protecting the house the way they always do, they let the Hawks do a lot of what they like to do, they let them cycle and move the puck, but in the time it takes to blink, they could reposition themselves and either block the shot, strip the player driving the slot, or slap the puck away on the rare chance it landed in the crease. Would Hossa really have made the difference tonight? I say no, probably not.

Saad played tonight and got himself about 13 minutes of ice time and even time on the PP. I dunno. He didn't do anything glaringly bad and at times actually showed some good sense defensively. However, because the situation is so intense, I don't think he really had a feel for where he should be with his linemates. Hard to not expect that. Crow, twice now, has more then done his part to give his team a chance to win in regulation. Sure, in both games he has given up a shitty OT goal that he should have stopped, but when a team like the Hawks let's it go to overtime with a team like the Yotes, you are going to get the result we have seen 3 out of 4 games. Coaching wise, Tippet's team is on autopilot. Protect the house, absorb early Hawks fury and wait for the Hawks to wear down in the third or overtime. Better luck Saturday I guess.

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  • Yup, the pattern is Q being out-coached, the 'hawks being soft on the puck, CC can't make a save when it matters, D turning it over with regularity, D standing around, PP, and the core nowhere to be found. I could go on, but …

    Credit Phoenix, they totally deserve to have a 3-1 lead. I'm betting the entire Phoenix roster does not earn the bucks that the 'hawks core does. How sad is that? Just goes to show what a good coach can do with limited resources.

    This is the best thing that could happen. We're certain to see some changes, and it should start with the entire coaching staff.

  • Firing the coaching staff will not be enough. Arguably, the Hawks and the Wings are now similar teams and both are on the ropes to stifling defense teams. The best coaching in the world will not overcome teams like the Preds and Yotes if the players don't want to do the work. Some Hawks do, some don't. I said before I found it odd that the Hawks played some of their best hockey when key players were out. The real coaching story of the Yotes and the Preds is not what they are doing right now, rather it's what they've been doing for years. Tippet is not beating Q with in game matchups, he's beating Q with the chip he has bread into every shoulder on his team over the last few seasons.

  • In terms of last night’s game, the only thing I would add is that the Hawks need to get much stronger on face-offs. Was it just me or did it seems like they lost every important draw last night? (Just an observation)

    To your point Vegas (about the Wings and Hawks being similar teams these days) I agree. I also think that playing Detroit the last two years in the playoffs has really prepared the Yotes for this series. They have been learning how to adjust to the Wings/Hawks style of play over the last two post seasons and now know how to get themselves a nitty gritty win.

    I'll also agree with you about "The best coaching in the world will not overcome teams like the Preds and Yotes if the players don't want to do the work." This is exactly where I was coming from the other day when I said that the Wings didn’t seem to be hungry enough. It’s easy for anyone to point at age and say that is the reason the Wings are down 3-1 but I don’t think that’s the issue in our series. "Tired old teams" don’t throw up 40+ SOG per game. They were the oldest team in the 2008 season and won the Cup. They returned as the oldest team in 2009 and went to game 7 of the Finals. So yes, it is a fact that they are the oldest, but that’s just a fact, not a factor.

    That said, I think the Wings are suffering very much the same way the Hawks are. Both of our teams need three goals to win and for whatever reasons (Good goaltending, shots blocked, poor shot selection, etc..) our core players up front are not providing enough support for either of our goalies.

    I am hopeful that my guys will bring it back for another try at the Joe. I hope your guys can make it back to the UC as well.

    Good luck!

  • Yep, out played, and out coached.
    What I saw from the Yotes is simply brilliant hockey, played to each players strength, where everyone knew their role and wanted it more.
    I also see a little bit of help from the officiating, and when that team happens to be owned by the NHL, it gets really interesting, but is not where the finger should be pointing.

    The Preds, oops, I mean Yotes, knew the Hawks were going to come out really determined, and try to overwhelm the them with their fire-power. Like you said Vegas, they absorbed it perfectly. Then, knowing the Hawks were frustrated and feeling confident that they could control the play, the Yotes exploded out of the 3rd and caught the Hawks scrambling. I see a plan, and a very well executed plan at that.

    Q, on the other hand, showed once again how bad he is at knowing his players, or having a system fro dealing with anything in which pure talent can't beat.
    Back to scrambling the lines. Still attempting the same power-play bull (you could argue the main reason for the series being 3-1).

    What really gets me though, is the choice to play Saad over someone who has skated with the Hawks more, and who has the type of style that might be able to charge through the Yotes. I am talking about big Jimmy Hayes.
    I have serious concern in the choice to play O'Donnell over Olsen and Lepisto.
    It has been obvious since the puck drop of game 1, that Leddy was not ready and or willing to deal with the Yotes size, determination, and intensity. Playing him last night was neglegent, and I used to be a supporter of his.

    So, we have a team playing to their best of abilities, that is actually coached how to play the opposition, and who executes the plan with inensity and determination, beating a team full of talent, the wrong players in wrong positions, the right players in the wrong places, and no continuity in their game. Huh, go figure.

    A player like Stalberg might have had the skillset and force to find holes in the Yotes, but Q did a good job of crushing his confidence all year, and adding insult to injury by sitting him, while other players paid 5 times as much get added shifts for similiar play.

    Nice to see Frolik getting his, and that 3rd line playing so well. Seabrook has been inspiring. I would not count the Hawks until it's over.

  • "So, we have a team playing to their best of abilities, that is actually coached how to play the opposition, and who executes the plan with inensity and determination, beating a team full of talent, the wrong players in wrong positions, the right players in the wrong places, and no continuity in their game. Huh, go figure."

    Thanks, HH, that's exactly what I'm trying to say too. It—a lot of it anyway—is on coaching. You work with what you have, and do not try and make what you have fit what you think might work. The 'hawks have no counter to Phoenix's strategy.

    I'm also going to debate, Vegas, that the players aren't trying. That's a hard thing for any athlete to do, let alone in the playoffs. The problem as I see it—and it was a perfect example on the game winning goal—is the 'hawks always err on the offensive side of the puck. Forwards too deep, forwards flying the zone etc. The Yotes take care of defense first and make teams pay on the turnovers.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Nah, I don't want to debate, we could outlast the likely outcome of this series. Looking at the Yotes and Preds (sorry oneteam, saw the game) I see two teams now who have stuck with a plan, have drafted and traded for players to fit that plan and have a coach who simply sits players who don't adhere to the plan. Those teams are cruising. The Hawks, in contrast, have been trying to rebuild on the fly since winning the cup and though Bowman has picked up some nice players, the Hawks are getting picked apart by a team that is fundamentally sound. For a variety of reasons, from Q on down, the Hawks, as a whole team, do not want to play the game the Yotes are engaging them with. Whatever the single greatest cause of that is seems moot right about now.

    Oneteam, tough loss, but in advance, I saw pretty much the same outcomes for both the Hawks and the Wings. In addition to being defensively tough, the Preds have now become even more aggressive in their game plan. Usually the Wings are a team I think about playing sixty minutes, but tonight, the Preds never took their foot off the gas.

    IN other news, I think it's interesting that Q gets fined for calling the officiating disgraceful when in reality, it was disgraceful enough that Torres needs to go to NY for a hearing. If Torres is suspended, Q is right. Guess you can't say the emperor has no clothes.

  • still feel goaltending is our downfall,crow has been solid but two soft goals have cost us two games and killed our mojo.... we win those two games we are up 3-1 we split were 2-2...yes the coyotes play better team defense and win most board battles but we new this going up against this team.mistakes in the playoffs cost you wins...if crow dont give more weak goals and we play with more desperation who knows............i know but im a homer by heart

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