Coyotes Focused on Becoming Elite Team
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes beat the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. It was a game the Blues dominated in the third period, but Phoenix survived being outshot 13-3 in the last 20 minutes and pushed the game to overtime, then won it when Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his fourth goal of the season.
Phoenix has won seven of its past eight games and is tied for second place with Colorado and Chicago in the Western Conference with 28 points.
On Wednesday, captain Shane Doan told the team’s flagship radio station that he and his teammates realize they won’t always win games in which they’re outplayed.
“(Head Coach Dave Tippett) kind of gave it to us after that game in the fact that this is not acceptable and that we’re fooling ourselves if we think that we can continue to keep this rolling playing the way that we played in the third period,” Doan told Arizona Sports 620.
“It’s a little bit unnerving and then at the same time encouraging because we know we’re going to have to play better than we’re playing right now to continue to keep winning. But, at the same time, we keep winning.”
Tippett told Arizona Sports 620 that good teams can sometimes win games they don’t deserve, but great teams rarely get outplayed.
“First and foremost, I’m pleased by our ability to find ways to win games,” Tippett said. “That’s a trait that good teams have. That being said I think there’s still a lot of upside on this team. Some mistakes that we’re making - that don’t give us the best chance to win every night - a lot of those things, hopefully we can correct and continue to improve. We’ll take the wins but right now we're focused on how do we get better and how do we get ourselves to an elite status in the League.”
The Coyotes next play Thursday at Chicago. After that, they’ll play at home on Saturday vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning – the top team in the Eastern Conference.
“We want to make sure that we can make a statement and collect points against top teams,” Tippett said. “The better competition you play, the more it tests your team and I like the tests that we’re going through right now.”
Tippett said his team is eager to play Chicago for the first time this season.
“I can tell you one thing, everybody is excited to come back to Chicago,” Tippett said. "They’re the defending champs and this building (United Center), it’s so loud. It’s a fun atmosphere to be in. Coming in here, you know the guys will be juiced up.”