Is The Season Already Over For The Coyotes?
Inconsistent play, leaky defence and lack of even-strength scoring has been the story so far for the Arizona Coyotes. Is the season already over for the Yotes?
It’s been a bumpy ride for the Coyotes to start the 2014/2015 season. After 12 games the team is 5-6-1 and third from the bottom in the Western Conference. With losses to Winnipeg, Florida and Carolina (teams that you would predict the Coyotes to beat before the season started) they have dug themselves quite a hole. The question is if there’s any way the desert dogs can turn things around and compete for a playoff spot.
The team is on a two-game winning-streak after beating the Washington Capitals 6-5 on the road along with a narrow 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. It was probably a nice feeling for the fans to see the Coyotes score six goals against the Capitals to snap a three-game losing-streak, but they almost managed to shoot themselves in the foot as they had a 6-3 lead with under five minutes to go in the third.
Against Toronto the team grab a 3-0 lead, but then gave up two power-play goals. So even though they played well against the Maple Leafs, it felt like they escaped with the two points. Three positives to take from the Toronto game were: 1. Mike Smith looked really good and had several key saves. 2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson logged over 31 minutes of TOI and looked like he was back to his old brilliant self. 3. All the Coyotes goals were even-strength goals.
With 12 games remaining in November for the Coyotes (10 against Western Conference opposition), a good run is vital if they are going to have any chance to climb the standings in a stacked Pacific Division. First test comes on Friday when they take on the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Discipline and teamwork will be the cornerstones going forward for the Coyotes, and if GM Don Maloney can pull of a trade or two to improve the squad they might still be able to turn this around.