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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: A WIN WORTH MORE THAN TWO POINTS

Wednesday, 01.27.2010 / 6:32 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes were awarded the standard two points for beating the Detroit Red Wings, 5-4, in overtime on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena, but the thrilling victory meant so much more.

Trailing 4-2, the Coyotes scored twice in the final 90 seconds to force overtime and then secured the victory when captain Shane Doan shot a rebound past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard at 3:50.

Make no mistake: Of the team’s 30 victories this season, Tuesday night’s was the most impressive and important considering how and where it unfolded and, most importantly, against which team it happened. Slowed by injuries or not, the Red Wings are still the defending Western Conference champions and defeating them in that manner was a significant feat.

I spent some time in the Coyotes' dressing room after Wednesday’s practice and spoke to several players about the big win. I listened to them use words and phrases such as “confidence builder” and “springboard” and “establishing credibility.” All of them apply here.

I also noticed multiple Valley-based TV crews in the dressing room. The victory over the Red Wings definitely turned some heads. It was good to see this team getting the attention it deserves. Yes, the Coyotes are only two points better than they were before Tuesday’s game, but now they’ve raised the bar on themselves with a signature victory over a team that represents NHL royalty.

One dramatic win or loss at this point in the season can make or break a team’s push for the playoffs. I remember that a loss to Edmonton on home ice a few years back - keyed by a last-second goal by Chris Pronger - dealt a devastating blow to the Coyotes’ playoff-run psyche and they never recovered. I am eager to see if this time around the Coyotes can use a dramatic victory in the opposite manner. Frankly, I am confident they can.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
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