Mike Smith

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Blackhawks open the season 2-0-0 for the first time since 1996

Two nights, two wins, two banner-raising nights deflated, in two road games to open the season.

Not a bad start for Chicago. The Blackhawks haven't started a season 2-0-0 since 1996.

The men of four feathers rolled into Phoenix on Sunday after a decisive 5-2 win at LA, and looked to -- if not avenge last spring's playoffs, at least make up for them.

Last April, the PHX-CHI series was one of the tightest in recent Cup history. The first five games all went to overtime before the Coyotes blew the Hawks out of a deeper Cup run with a 4-0 win on Chicago ice. At the United Center for game 3, Coyote Raffi Torres took out Marian Hossa with an ugly headsho...

Western Conference Final Predictions: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings

 



2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Western Conference FinalPhoenix Coyotes ( 3 ) vs. Los Angeles Kings ( 8 )   The Los Angeles Kings are eliminating teams in numerical order in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. First, it was the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks. Then the little team that could in the St. Louis Blues, the second-best team in the West. Now, LA looks to the final division winner, the Phoenix Coyotes, on their potential route to an unlikely appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. If they make it, it'll be their first such appearance since 1993 when they lost to the Montreal Canadiens, and they've alread...

TCL Round 2 Staff Predictions: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators

 

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Western Conference SemifinalsPhoenix Coyotes ( 3 ) vs. Nashville Predators ( 4 )  If the first round opponents of these two teams would be facing each other instead of the Preds and Coyotes, we'd be talking about two of the biggest rivals in NHL history, and two recent Stanley Cup winners. But we're not talking about them. We're talking about two underdog teams that got to the second round by beating perennial favorites, with great goaltending, great coaching, and a lot of hard work. It's surprising that the Phoenix Coyotes are even still in the league, yet alone in the second round of these playoffs, after taking out the Chi...

Phoenix win their first series in 25 years; Chicago's season is over

The Chicago Blackhawks finally found their game.

Unfortunately, it came in game 6 in a first-round series where they were down 3-2, and they were up against a goaltender who was having the game of his life.

On Monday night in Chicago, the Blackhawks came out on fire. They grabbed a hold of the game, and put a stranglehold on it. They nearly had shots on goal into the double digits before the Coyotes registered their first; they blocked shots; they scooped the puck away from Phoenix with such ease that it was almost like watching an NHL team play against an AHL one.

This is the team that Blackhawks fans have been looking ...

Blackhawks push to extend their series life tonight

The last time the Blackhawks and Coyotes faced each other at the United Center, it was game 4 of the series. Phoenix took that game in overtime, just one of five OT games that this series has seen so far. Prospect Brandon Saad made his playoffs debut. Andrew Shaw was still suspended, Marian Hossa was out from the injury inflicted by Raffi Torres's reckless hit in game 3.

When Brendan Shanahan laid down the suspension for Torres last Saturday, it was the second-longest in NHL history. (The current record is 30 games for NYI's Chris Simon in 2007 for stomping on PIT's Jarrko Ruutu's ankle.) The message was clear, not only to Torres but to the rest of the league: we'...

Blackhawks get dramatic OT win to split series with Coyotes 1-1

The Chicago Blackhawks made a lot of mistakes in the first game of their series versus the Phoenix Coyotes, and corrected most of those in their second game on Saturday night.

It was an exciting game, starting with Bryan Bickell of the Blackhawks opening the scoring 3:05 into the first period, proving that Chicago's power play isn't entirely impotent.  Raffi Torres tied it up for Phoenix just under 6 minutes later. When Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks closed in on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, the puck on his stick, Smith put his hands up and made first contact. Yet Toews was the one who ended up with a penalty for interference, and then the Coyotes took the lead...

Phoenix Coyotes take series opening vs Chicago Blackhawks

Going into the Thursday opener between Chicago and Phoenix, most analysts were split on their predictions. Several pointed out that the Coyotes had owned the season series between the two, 3-1; but just as many acknowledged that those games were not some of the Blackhawks' best hockey of the year. Mike Smith has been the difference-maker for Phoenix, while the Chicago goalies have had their share of struggles.

At the end of the day, however, these two teams have always battled strongly against one another, their different styles making for some interesting games.

After four high-paced opening minutes, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews put the first goal of the night...

Game Preview: Flames vs Phoenix Coyotes

It doesn’t get any closer than it is now in the Western Conference. Even with the Flames huge overtime victory against the Sharks on Tuesday, the Flames stayed in 10th place, in a three way tie for 9th place with the Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes come into Calgary for the 4th and final meeting against the Flames after a big 5-4 victory over the Canucks last night in Vancouver. Since these two teams last met on Mar. 1st, the teams have once again gone in the opposite direction. At the time, Phoenix was coming off an unbelievable month of February where they went 11-0-1, while the Flames were on a 4-game losing streak. Since then, the Flames used that victory to go on their current 5-1-1 streak, while the Coyotes won just their second game in their past 8 last night in Vancouver. The two teams now sit just 3 points apart heading into this crucial four-point game.

Game Preview: Flames vs Phoenix Coyotes

When hot meets cold something has to give, that is the case tonight as the struggling Flames head into Phoenix to face the red-hot Coyotes. This is the third of four meetings between the clubs, with Phoenix taking the first two games including a 4-3 SO victory last Thursday at the Dome. The Flames squandered a 2-0 first period lead and lost their second of their current 4-game skid. The Coyotes probably don’t want February to end as they went a remarkable 11-0-1 and jumped from 12th in the West to 3rd and leading the Pacific Division. Tonight’s game in Phoenix, kicks-off a mini 2-game road trip for the Flames as they will head into Anaheim tomorrow night. The Flames will also look to snap their current 6-game losing streak against the Coyotes.

Kings Score Three Early, Yet Fall to Coyotes in Shootout

Phoenix came roaring back despite an ugly first period and subsequent deficit. (Photo courtesy of Norm Hall NHLI via Getty Images)

Despite an offensive explosion that no one saw coming (put your hand down, Darryl Sutter), the Kings eventually fell in a shootout to the division rival Phoenix Coyotes by a 5-4 score.

Phoenix tied the game in the final moments of regulation thanks to a somewhat controversial penalty handed to the Kings’ Kyle Clifford for an illegal hit on Gilbert Brule. The hit itself won’t be up for too much debate—Clifford, whether he intended to or not, made contact with the head o...