Nov. 22, 2003
© The Arizona Republic
The uglier it got for the Coyotes on Friday night, the more Tyson Nash seemed to take it personally.
Nash, who has a career penalty-to-points ratio of more than 10 to 1, banged around like a pinball against the San Jose Sharks, challenging anyone who got in his way. He got in a couple of brawls and took penalties as he tried to pump up the intensity.
But it was one of those nights when even good efforts went for naught.
Meanwhile, Chris Gratton and Krys Kolanos, landing on the fourth line, didn't get much ice time against San Jose, but they tried their best to show coach Bobby Francis that they should be promoted. Both skated hard and fought hard along the boards.
The top line of left wing Brian Savage, center Daymond Langkow and right wing Shane Doan enabled the Coyotes to rally for a 5-4 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday.
They had four goals and nine points against the Blues, and Francis can see some chemistry developing between them.
"Those three are very effective," he said. "When all three are on top of their game, they should be successful. Lanks is the catalyst or engine. Whoever we've had him with, that line has been effective since he came here."
In the race
Though Francis is convinced his team still hasn't played its best, he is comforted by knowing the Coyotes are still right in the thick of things in the Pacific Division race.
"We should have a good grasp of what makes us effective as a team without being encouraged by getting points when we're not playing our best," Francis said.
The Coyotes have only four games remaining at America West Arena before they open another era in their history with the first game at the Glendale Arena on Dec. 27. The last game at AWA will be Dec. 15 against Minnesota. That will mark the Coyotes' 300th regular-season game since moving to Phoenix.
* Due to a time conflict with the Arizona Cardinals on KDUS-AM (1060), Sunday's Coyotes game against the Atlanta Thrashers will be broadcast by KZAG-AM (1440).
The Sharks played cohesively on all their lines and took the crowd out of the game early.
The Coyotes were unable to convert on any of their 40 shots on goal.
OUR THREE STARS
1. Kyle McLaren, Sharks, two assists and overall quality effort.
2. Mike Ricci, Sharks, goal and a strong presence on the ice every shift.
3. Marco Sturm, Sharks, first goal of game to spark team.
CAPTION: Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov turns away a backhanded shot from Coyotes center Krys Kolanos on Friday.