The Phoenix Coyotes are off to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. The Winnipeg Jet-almosts beat the Chicago Blackhawks convincingly in Chicago Monday night by a score of 4-0.
The Blackhawks were the better team in the series in every area except one–the position of goaltending.
The bottom line was that Mike Smith was completely brilliant, compared to the shaky Corey Crawford who needless to say was horrible at specific times when the games were tight.
Last night, after the Blackhawks dominated the first half of the game but couldn’t beat Smith, the Coyotes dominated the third period. Former Oiler Gilbert Brule, Westlock’s Kyle Chipchura and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all notched a goal and assist as Phoenix will now play the Nashville Predators in round two.
In other hockey news, Oilers forward Jordan Eberle has been nominated for the Lady Byng. This season he had 34 goals and 42 assists and only 10 penalty minutes. He’ll be up against Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers and Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders. Campbell will try to become the first defenceman to win the Lady Byng since Red Kelly of the Detroit Red Wings in 1954.
Eberle meanwhile is being joined by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is being nominated for the Calder. No Edmonton Oiler has won a major award since Mark Messier won the Hart and Bill Ranford won the Conn Smythe in 1990.