Wednesday night saw the Washington Capitals roar back from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Rangers to win 4-3 in double OT. They took a 3-1 series lead on that win. Farther south, in Tampa Bay, the Penguins defeated the Lightning 3-2, to also take a 3-1 lead in their series.
While the Bolts and the Rangers both have the indignity of being swept filed under “impossibility,” the Phoenix Coyotes aren’t so lucky. Last night’s 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings complete the Wings’ sweep of a Phoenix team that allowed seventeen goals in just four games. The fourth and final game saw the ‘Yotes finally show life, forcing the Red Wings to cope with a 3-3 tie through midway into the third period. Unfortunately, their fans saw the team’s season end on a 6-3 shellacking after Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi scored 1:53 apart.
Phoenix played a defeated series from the opening minute of game one. It was almost as though they knew that their efforts would be futile against a far superior Red Wings team. They never played with any drive or passion – they never played like they cared.
Unfortunately, that lack of caring might just be because of the uncertainty surrounding the team’s future and their possible move to Winnipeg. If that’s the case, then the fans deserved a hell of a lot better than what they got. The Red Wings ended the Winnipeg Jets’ posteason dreams in 1996, and they might well be responsible for expediting their return to the ’Peg.
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett had this to say after the game:
“The talking about moving and this and that, the frustrating thing is stable ownership gives you an atmosphere where you feel you can be successful,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “We have scratched and clawed and I give our group a ton of credit because they dealt with it for two years.”
Funny. I think that Atlanta fans know exactly what he means.