Posts tagged “Radim Vrbata

Coyotes finally showing signs of life


BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com contributor

After enduring two consecutive first-round playoff losses to the Detroit Red Wings, it sure looked like the Phoenix Coyotes were in for a major letdown this year.

They lost their franchise goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, who signed an outrageous contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. They are still owned by the NHL and are always under the relocation cloud. And, they still did not have a marquee player to really put butts in the seats at Jobing.com Arena.

Left winger Ray Whitney, a 20-year NHL veteran, leads the Phoenix Coyotes with 33 assists and is one of the reasons the team is relevant again. Photo by: Bridget Samuels / Flickr

They attempted to more or less replace some lost pieces through the market, acquiring goaltender Mike Smith and fourth-line grinder Raffi Torres on the first day of free agency. Their ownership troubles still loomed but there are still interested parties, reportedly. And they acquired former Coyote and first-line center Daymond Langkow in a trade.

The 2011-12 season started off alright as the boys surprised everyone by jumping out of the gate quite nicely, but quickly simmered into something more resembling a team going through the motions than a franchise looking to prove that they weren’t just lucky or a fluke the past two years. Entering the recently completed All-Star break, they were mired in a pack of six teams vying for a playoff spot and did not look like they had the drive, or talent, to make it to the finish line.

(more…)

Advertisements