Kings-Coyotes Western Conference Final Roundup: The Coaches' Perspective
It's not going to do any good right now. I think you guys should just write what you saw. If you write what you saw, you'll see why people get frustrated. You know, the players -- I mean, there's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into this. There's a lot of emotion in the game. It is what it is. LA played well. Early in the series, they played very well. Ultimately, the last two games I thought were our best games, but they were too late.
LA beat us. That's what should be remembered, not the refereeing.
From a coaching standpoint, he is right. Just like Vancouver (who waited a few games before they focused on just playing hockey), the Coyotes found out the hard way that you have to be ready to play the right way from game one. The nastiness and sideshow stuff (Who tripped who? Who slashed what? Who peed in my cornflakes?) is going to happen, but you can't use that as a main tactic to bully the other team into playing the way you want them too. Especially a team that was the second largest team in the NHL before they added Carter, Nolan, and King.
The Coyotes did play the Kings to a very close game last night, and had they started the series that way, this series would have gone back and forth faster than a ping-pong match.
The Coyotes made adjustments after Game 3. They started out-numbering the Kings along the half walls to stop the Kings from chipping the puck out. They succeeded in Game 4 with a wicked forecheck that pressured them in a different way than the Kings were ready for defensively.
We'll breakdown the coaches' interviews after the jump.
When asked about having a "bend, don't break" attitude and the burden it put on Mike Smith, Tippet said after Game 4:
Depends on where those shots were coming from. If there coming from the outside that's, that's one thing. If there coming from right in the guts in the ice, that's another. We didn't give up near as many chances as we did earlier so the bend don't break.....I mean we have to play a certain way if were going to have success and it starts with competing, you know, blocking shots. Things like that.
If there's a lot of outside shots, a lot of dumb pucks that get to the net, we'll deal with that, those aren't scoring chances.
I didn't see this the same way. I thought that the Kings did do things the right way offensively, and just got shut out by a really good goalie. Robert P. did a really great breakdown on where the real possession was in Game 4 (Are we there yet?) Truth is, they couldn't stop the Kings unless their goalie was superhuman four games in a row.
How did it all end tonight? Here are Dave Tippett's final thoughts:
Tippett does hint at being eliminated on a call that he says would show why people get frustrated. Ultimately, it wasn't that play that eliminated them, it was letting the Kings take a 3-0 lead in the series before they gave a real good show.
Daryl Sutter had these thoughts before Game 5:
Did they do any of that? The power play still needs work. The game last night was a ping pong match with Phoenix taking over for some stretches, and the Kings taking over for some stretches. Goals back and forth. Exactly where most of us expected the whole series would go. Too bad Phoenix waited till game 4 to apply it.
Daryl Sutter had this to say in his postgame interview:
Next up, someone from the East Coast.