With another week now finished in the books, the Arizona Coyotes still have yet to find their groove as they lost all four games on their schedule this week. Despite them being losses, they were still relatively close games with two of them requiring either overtime or a shootout or there were late goals scored to seal the game for the Yotes and only one where they were completely out scored.
With their first game this week against the Washington Capitals in D.C., the Coyotes got off to a quick start with goals coming from the red-hot Clayton Keller and other rookie Christian Fischer, but the Caps struck back quick with a goal from Devante Smith-Pelly and Alex Ovechkin. The game would require overtime where the Caps would take advantage of a nifty tic-tac-toe with an odd whiff on the shot from T.J. Oshie that would turn out to be a perfect pass to John Carlson who one-timed it into the net.
The next game would be a back-to-back for the Coyotes as they would immediately travel to Pittsburgh and face the defending Stanley Cup Champions: the Pittsburgh Penguins. Antti Raanta would get the start after getting the game against Washington off, but Justin Shultz of the Penguins would start things off quick as he propelled one into the net just 59 seconds into the first period. Two minutes later, Evgeni Malkin would put the Pens up 2-0. The score would remain the same until the 3rd period where Coyotes’ Tobias Reider would snipe one past Matt Murray to make it a 2-1 game, but Penguins’ Phil Kessel would score off a puck that soared into the air as he patiently waited for it to get below the crossbar of the goal and batted it home to make it 3-1 and that would be the result of that game. The only positive thing to take from this game is the standing ovation from the Penguins’ organization and fans as Coyotes’ head coach Rick Tocchet returned to Pittsburgh as he spent the last 3 years as an assistant coach for the Penguins; it was nice to see a classy act from the Penguins’ organization. The Coyotes would be off to St. Louis next.
With the Blues being the best team in the West, the Coyotes knew for sure this would be a tough matchup and they sure did put up a fight. The Blues would be the first to strike as Joel Edmundson redirected a shot-pass from Chris Thorburn. The Coyotes’ Brendan Perlini would score twice to put the Yotes up 2-1 until a shot from Blues’ captain Alex Pietrangelo wristed one into the net past Raanta. The game would require overtime, where no goals were scored, which resulted in a shootout. Blues’ Brayden Schenn and Alex Steen would score for the Blues in the shootout as the Coyotes didn’t score once. The Blues would take it 3-2.
The Coyotes would return home for a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets on Military Appreciation Night as both clubs honored both retired and currently serving members of both the Canadian and U.S. Armed Forces. The Coyotes would be the first to strike in the 1st period as they crashed the net and a shot from defenseman Alex Goligoski was redirected from Zac Rinaldo. That would be the only goal for the Coyotes for the night as the Jets scored 4 unanswered goals from Matt Hendricks, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, and an empty net goal from Patrik Laine.
With another week in the books, the Coyotes are now sitting on a 2-14-3 record with just 7 points and dead last in the entire league. With an offseason, so built on the impression that the Coyotes were going to see improvements is turning out to be a year which the Coyotes are just wanting to forget. It’ll eventually get to the point where the players will have nothing to play for and just either have to play spoiler or just be the doormats of the league.
Arizona will be on a Canadian touring spree as the Coyotes will start their road trip in Winnipeg, then to Montreal to face the Canadiens, then to Ottawa to face the Senators, and finally finishing up their road trip on Monday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.
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