The Clarence S. Campbell trophy was at Staples Center, ready to be awarded to the Kings, should they have won the game, but again the Coyotes said “No! We’re not done yet!”
Maybe it was the two days off they had in Los Angeles, which may have allowed them to refresh and re-gather themselves.
Maybe it was desperation that stood at every man’s locker, forcing them to dig deeper than they’ve done all season.
Whatever it was, Shane Doan, Mike Smith and the rest of the Coyotes sent the Kings a clear message with the 2-0 win on Sunday: if we play the way we know how, watch out!
There’s no question that the Coyotes went to Los Angeles, Calif., and performed much better in Games 3 and 4, than they did at home in Games 1 and 2.
Forward Mikkel Boedker can see the team getting stronger as the series moves on.
“I felt like we gained a little ground on them in Game 4,” Boedker said. “Hopefully we can continue that over to Game 5 and keep this series going.”
Now that they temporarily took the wind out of the Kings’ sails, the Coyotes realize how good a road team the Kings are, and know that the road to the Stanley Cup championship continues with Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Head coach Dave Tippett says the team’s “spirits” are high after the win on Sunday, but it’s far from champagne time being down 3-1.
“It’s a hard mountain to climb,” Tippett said. “We got the first one, we got to come home and use the energy of our building and get ourselves in position to take another one.”
The 1942 Maple Leafs, the 1975 Islanders and the 2010 Flyers were all in the same position that the Coyotes stand in today. Those teams came back from 3-0 deficits to win their respective series.
Can the Coyotes write their name in the record books as being the fourth to do it? Like Tippett said, start with Game 5 and go from there.