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Phoenix coach Tippett laments ‘season of frustration’

Apr 23, 2013, 2:52 PM EDT


After a 4-0 loss to Detroit on Monday all but eliminated the Coyotes from postseason play, players and coaches were asked to reflect on the year.

Their answers wasn’t surprising.

“Season of frustration,” head coach Dave Tippett told Fox Sports Arizona.

Goalie Mike Smith said much of the same.

“It is disappointing,” he explained. “After getting to the Conference Finals last year and having success, and sitting where we are right now is a hard pill to swallow.”

The Coyotes had high expectations coming into this year after a banner 2011-12 campaign. They captured the Pacific Division title and made it to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Phoenix also retained a large core of the ’11-12 team, including captain Shane Doan, who opted to stick with the club after a number of suitors expressed interest this past summer.

This year, though, few things went right in the desert.

Last year’s leading goalscorer, Radim Vrbata, missed 14 games to injury and scored just nine times. Smith, arguably the team’s MVP a year ago, was only able to play 32 games.

The team’s penalty kill, ranked eighth in the league last year, dropped to 19th (80.5 percent). And the offense dried up almost entirely, as Phoenix tied Nashville by being shut out a league-high nine times this season.

There was also one crucial stretch of play that doomed the ‘Yotes — a seven-game winless streak in March where they only secured two points and fell from sixth to 12th in the Western Conference.

“That losing streak — that’s the season,” Vrbata explained. “That’s where we got behind, and we were chasing since then.

“It’s tough to chase in this league.”

  1. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    well, last night was a prime example of what went wrong with the season..abdicator (im sure i spelled that wrong) stands around trying to pick a fight with 3 guys, and Doan gets the double minor for engaging him???!?!!!!! crap like that just seems to happen to phx teams, no matter the sport. I dont know if its because the NHL doesnt want to seem like its playing favorites with Phx because of the owner situation or what, but they get a ton of weak sauce penalties called on them, while the other team gets away with murder quite often…

    • yotesfan61 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Every team in the league gets calls against them. To blame an entire season on calls going against the coyotes is absurd. And even if there were a number of questionable calls, I also saw a number of dumb penalties that didnt need to be taken that cost them a lot of goals throughout the season. When you can’t put goals on the scoreboard, you can’t put yourself in the position to be on the penalty kill often. And they simply dont have the talent to win games like that. Need to play smart and play harder then every team they face every night, and its pretty obvious they didn’t do that this year like they did last.

      Need some offense on this team in a bad way.

  2. Haleigh - Apr 23, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Reblogged this on Doan Stop Believing.

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