May 15, 2012
Coyotes done like dinner
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
This one has sweep written all over it.
Donít worry about the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman having to hand the Stanley Cup to himself this spring.
The Phoenix Coyotes are down 2-0 in the Western Conference final after a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday, but it doesnít look like these teams are in the same league as the series shifts to the Staples Center for Game 3 Thursday.
The Coyotes' story has been nice to watch, but the reality is it would be embarrassing for the league if they actually won the Stanley Cup. Donít count on the fairy tale to last much longer.
Meanwhile, Phoenix is imploding.
First, captain Shane Doan was thrown out in the second period for hitting Trevor Lewis from behind. Then, Martin Hanzal was sent packing in the third for hitting Dustin Brown from behind.
Embarrassing and ridiculous.
It looks like itís only a matter of time before the Kings close this one out.
The reality is the Coyotes overachieved this spring by knocking off the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 1 and the Nashville Predators in Round 2. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith hasnít been able to do it all by himself.
OFF THE GLASS
Kings centre Jeff Carter served notice he can still step his game up when needed. His hat trick (which included a goal that deflected off his shin) couldnít have come at a better time for the Kings. He had just one goal in the playoffs prior to Tuesday ... The cameras caught an unhappy L.A. coach Darryl Sutter taking jabs at his bench during the first. The Kings couldnít have been pleased with their start and it might have been the most Sutter has said in months ... Rocker Alice Cooper was in the house and led the ďBeat L.A.Ē chants. Surely the Kings will deliver better stars when this series moves to Hollywood.
THIS 'N' THAT
How remarkable is this run by the Kings? Theyíve won seven straight on the road in these playoffs, tying the league-mark set by the Blackhawks in 2010 ... The Kings are 10-1 in these playoffs. It just doesnít look like there is any stopping them. Theyíll have more work to do once they get to the final for the first time since 1993 ... My guess: Doan doesnít get suspended for his incident but Hanzal could be in a lot of trouble for taking his frustration out on Brown.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Phoenix forward Raffi Torres will have his exercise in futility Thursday when Bettman hears his appeal of a 25-game ban for hitting Chicago forward Marian Hossa in Round 1. Torres, who missed his 10th straight game Thursday, is appealing the length of the suspension. There is not a chance Bettman wonít back the decision by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. This is being done by the NHLPA to set a marker going into CBA talks this summer ... Loved Coyotes defenceman Derek Morris trying to score from near centre ice in the first period Tuesday the same way he did in Game 1. If it worked once, youíve got to give it another try. This time, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick wasnít going to be fooled.
MAKES YOU GO HMMM ...
You have to wonder how good the ice is at Jobing.com Arena. The temperature outside was 109 degrees farenheit before the puck was dropped, but 52 degrees farenheit inside thanks to the air conditioning ... Good story by TSNís Ryan Rishaug that the Kings players take the bus to the rink even though they stay next door ... Every time I see Los Angeles centre Mike Richards and Carter I wonder what they really think about the Philadelphia Flyers' demise in Round 2. Sitting only one step away from a trip to the final, Richards and Carter both have to be guffawing inside ... The Kings were able to get a power-play goal with a two-man advantage in the third. For all the whining about the Los Angeles power play, the Bruins won the Cup by going 10-for-88 last spring ... A sale of the team may be pending but Iím not convinced the next time the Coyotes play a home game it will be in Phoenix.
RUMOURS DU JOUR
Didnít take long for former Ottawa Senators coach Cory Clouston to wear out his welcome with the WHLís Brandon Wheat Kings. He was fired only one season into the two-year contract he signed with the club last summer. Clouston could land behind an NHL bench as an assistant. He interviewed for the post Todd Richards received with the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer ... Hereís a name to watch for as a replacement for coach Dale Hunter in Washington: Assistant Dean Evason. He has been on the clubís staff for four years and he might be able to push captain Alex Ovechkinís buttons.