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The Sports Daily > Hipchecks
Coyotes Win Opener

What a way to start the season! The Coyotes opened last night in LA with a 4-1 win. Max Domi excelled in his NHL debut with a goal and an assist. He is the first Coyotes player since Shane Doan to have multiple points in a debut game, not bad company to be in.

“The kid is a special kid,” Smith said. “To do what he did in his first game, he didn’t really look out of place at all. He proved he can play in this league and he’ll get better as the season goes on.”

I think the biggest surprise of the night may have been who opened the scoring for the Coyotes. Zbynek Michalek rocketed a shot toward the net that bounced off a stick and went in. Quick was out of position for this shot, playing a bit out and still sliding left as the puck went past. It was just the beginning of Quick’s problems. The Kings fans booed Quick and Sutter easily threw him under the bus:

“He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?” Sutter said of Quick’s performance.

Anthony Duclair also helped out with an assist in his Coyotes debut. Smith looked strong in net. He made some great saves and never looked rattled. The lone Kings goal came after a spectacular save on a Carter break away.

The Coyotes were nowhere near perfect; there is always something that needs to be worked on. This game was a bright spot after last year’s disaster of a season. What did I like best? The effort. The energy level. Last season the Coyotes were flat and only a few guys would show up for the games. The struggled early on with puck possession and clearing the zone, but they kept putting pressure on the Kings. It looked like a full 60 minutes was played.

I am sure this season will have ups and downs, but I have no doubt that Domi and Duclair will help push the team to better than last season. OEL  has come into his own. He knows he is no longer the rookie and I think he will make a great mentor for the young guys. Smith looked great, hopefully, his offseason work has helped him. He is a good goalie but for whatever reason struggled mentally last season. I look forward to the hard-working Coyotes we as fans know and love. It should be a fun season.

Tonight the Penguins are in town. Are you ready for the home opener? I know I am, can’t wait to see you there! 7 pm, don’t be late.