They're on the verge of a franchise record 10th straight road loss, but the big story behind the Arizona Coyotes tonight is the 20 game suspension the NHL just handed down to Jarred Tinordi for violating the league's Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Yup, the guy whose claim to fame in his career so far seems to be this:
It appears he was on the juice. What's the impact to Arizona? Not much, I'm sure. But it means they have to slot someone in with less experience. This is the 2nd such suspension this season by the league, and it makes one wonder just how prevalent PED use is in a sport that seems to have avoided the kind of scandals that plague football and baseball.
Anyway, let's focus on tonight. They say that one way to master a craft is to apprentice with someone who is highly skilled at it. So if the Canucks want to tank, taking a close look at the Coyotes might give them some clues on how to let the rest of this season play out in the scramble for the basement and that golden (draft lottery) ticket. There's absolutely no signs of remorse from Arizona, either. They're tanking, again. And chances are, GM Don Maloney will flat out tell everyone so next season what was going down. The man's middle name has to be DILLIGAF with the way he just lays it all out.
Sure, the Coyotes may not want to set this record. Pride is a funny thing. Even though they know the reward, they might be willing to take a couple points to avoid a mark like this. Both teams sit 10 points back of the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche, with the Wild currently holding that last Wild Card slot. The Canucks have a game in hand though, and hold the tie breaker in the all-important ROW column. Remember that one, kids. Even Edmonton have more regulation and overtime wins than the Canucks thus far. This could be a factor in getting that lottery pick.
As awful as the Coyotes are on the road, the Canucks are at home this season. It's been their downfall, really as their road record has been fairly impressive. It's almost like they can't get inspired to play in a building (not quite) full of disinterested fans and the same lame music seemingly stuck on repeat. The other thing to remember about tonight's game, is a loss can pretty much seal the deal for the loser on any hope of catching the Wild or Avs. There's a lot at stake here. Don't mess this up.
The Canucks will again be without Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, Brandon Sutter and Chris Tanev, while the Coyotes will likely not have Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who was hurt Monday against Colorado in addition to Mike Smith, Joe Vitale and Anders Lindback.
FRESH HOT LINKS
- Yeah, the Coyotes are totally looking to take out their frustrations on the Canucks (wink, wink)
- Since I am often accused of being so gosh darn negative, here's Clay Imoo with a positive take on last night's Town Hall meeting
- The rookies have acquitted themselves well, though Jared McCann still needs to show more
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Probably my favorite band to come out of the Arizona metal scene, Sacred Reich are still playing shows, though there are no plans for a new album. Sacred Reich came out in the 80's, another one of the politically charged metal bands spawned in the Reagan Era, and their debut album IGNORANCE is a classic if you love thrash metal. Here's the title track (this video kills me, because it looks like we made it at the Cable 10 studios in Kamloops), and a bonus, their entire set from the Dynamo Open Air Festival in 1989.
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