Monday Morning Musings: Murphy's poise and Bissonnette's eloquence

Christian Petersen

A look back at an interesting week in Coyotes hockey with thoughts and observations from Managing Editor Jaime Eisner.

The Phoenix Coyotes ended the week with two wins and a road trip on the horizon that will take them up to Christmas. Phoenix remains in the same spot this Monday as they did last Monday, just out of the playoff picture in the extremely competitive Western Conference.

Before the Coyotes head back out on the road, here are a few tidbits and notes from the week that was in Coyotes hockey:

- Paul Bissonnette has played very well of late and his hockey IQ is very underrated. As evidenced by his explanations on his assist in Colorado and his goal against Carolina, Bissonnette is not only hockey smart, but can eloquently explain his thought process to the media and fans.

- Connor Murphy has been quite impressive in his brief time in Phoenix. His poise with and without the puck resembles that of a NHL veteran, even at the age of 20.

- Speaking of Murphy, the Coyotes will have a decision on their hands when Derek Morris gets back up to speed. Does the rookie stay in the lineup? Or will coach Dave Tippett elect to remove David Schlemko or Michael Stone from the lineup? The former runs the risk of playing two RD on the third pairing.

- Murphy is the only Coyote currently on a multi-game point streak (2).

- Phoenix's PK has turned things around recently, killing off their opponents' last 10 power plays.

- The Coyotes have started games stronger lately, allowing only one first period goal in the last four games.

- Antoine Vermette struggled in the faceoff circle during the two-game home stand. He won less than 50 percent both games and combined to win only 39.5 percent of his faceoffs during that time.

- Quietly, Mikkel Boedker is on the cusp of breaking his career-highs in goals (11) and points (28). He currently has nine goals and 21 points, less than half way through the season.

- The Coyotes are one of only three teams in the Western Conference to have a losing record in their last 10 games (4-5-1 along with Edmonton and Minnesota).

- Home sick? Phoenix is tied for the third most home games remaining in the NHL (26), only behind New Jersey (27) and Dallas (28).

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