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Phoenix Coyotes Continue to Get Hurt By Penalties

Derek PivkoCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 16:  Sami Lepisto #18 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates off the ice as the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate winning the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on November 16, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Lightning defeated the Coyotes 4-1.   (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Perhaps the Phoenix Coyotes should change their name to the Phoenix Penalties?

The Phoenix Coyotes failed last night's “Hockey 101” broadcasting last night. I’m not sure which was worse: listening to last nights broadcast or watching the Coyotes continue to give up pointless penalties.

If we have learned anything about the Coyotes this season, it is that they are a young team playing in an adult league. The Coyotes continue to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to losing games because of penalties.

Lasts night a prime example of shooting themselves in the foot occurred late in the first period when Jim Vandermeer was whistled for a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for running Kurtis Foster in the boards.

One thing that the Coyotes are lacking right now is defense. The Coyotes are already missing their top defensive line in Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek and losing Vandermeer due to a game misconduct cost the Coyotes the game last night.

The Coyotes gave up 28 minutes in penalties last night, which is the third highest on the season (29 minutes against Buffalo on Oct. 8 and 39 minutes against Anaheim on Oct. 31). On average the Coyotes give up 14.85 on penalty minutes a game. 

While most of those penalty minutes are from Paul Bissonnette for fighting, the rest of the penalties have cost the Coyotes several games this season. Every game is important for the Coyotes, they can afford to lose games due to penalties.

Last night's game against Tampa Bay was one of the worst games they played all season. Granted they were without Matthew Lombardi, Kurt Sauer, Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek and Tampa Bay’s back up goaltender Mike Smith had an incredible game.

The only thing that was incredible for the Coyotes was seeing veterans such as Vandermeer and Vernon Fiddler make careless decisions costing the Coyotes a victory against Tampa Bay.

Every game is important for the Coyotes, they can not afford to lose games due to careless errors. You never know when the injury bug will come into effect and cost players such as Shane Doan or Ilya Bryzgalov to miss games. The month of November has not been good for the Coyotes. Out of the seven games the Coyotes have played in November, they have only won two.

The month of November will be one to remember if the Coyotes continue to play the style of hockey that they are playing right now. It was only last month when the Coyotes were considered the hottest team in the NHL, that title has now moved to the Colorado Avalanche.

If the Coyotes are serious about making a run in the playoffs perhaps they should have listened to last night's “Hockey 101” broadcast and perhaps they can learn a thing or two about staying out of the penalty box.

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