Monday Morning Musings: winless New Year for the Phoenix Coyotes

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Phoenix Coyotes began their six-game home stand with three games this week. Phoenix finished the week 1-2-0 and looks to stay in playoff position with three more home games on the horizon.

Before the second half of the home stand begins, here are a few tidbits and notes from the week that was in Coyotes hockey:

- A handful of fans have expressed concerns over the play of Mike Smith recently and as a whole. Since the start of December, Smith's has a GAA of 2.55 and a save percentage of .914. Those numbers aren't spectacular, but are higher than his overall numbers this season.

- In the same vein, Thomas Greiss has a 2.70 GAA and a .916 save percentage in his last 10 starts (Phoenix and San Jose).

- Those numbers are very similar and Greiss should start more (i.e. every back-to-back), but I feel the Coyotes' playoff chances, if and when they get in, rest on the shoulders of Smith getting hot.

- Greiss has 38 career starts. Smith has 35 starts this season. Greiss is an unknown when it comes to making three starts in a week or several starts in a month. The German goalie has never started more than four games in any calendar month.

- The Coyotes went 0-for-11 on the power play this week. It's as big of a reason the team has struggled as anything else.

- David Rundblad could help on that PP. His calm and skill on the point or half-boards can settle down a somewhat erratic power play. He's also dominated in possession stats in three of his last four games.

- Keith Yandle's turnover on Saturday was bad, but don't let it over shadow his strong play this year. He's played a ton of minutes and has been a strong possession player despite often playing with a rookie partner and being less sheltered than in years past.

- Mikkel Boedker set a new career-high for goals in a season with 12. He is only two points away from setting a new career-high in that category, with half a season to go.

- Fun fact: Mike Ribeiro is 10th on the team in shots with 68. The 14-year veteran is on pace for the fifth most shots on goal/game in a season in his career.

- Finally, I'm very proud that I haven't seen any fans make any "they haven't won since last year" jokes. Thank you.

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