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Monday Musings: Arizona Coyotes quarter-season awards

This edition of MMM hands out various awards from the first quarter of the 2014-15 season.

Harry How/Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes are a little more than a quarter of the way through the 2014-15 season. Standing at 9-11-2 through the season's first 22 games, the Coyotes are not performing to the level set by their preseason expectations. Missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season is a very real possibility.

However, there is still plenty of time to turn things around. With that being said and without further ado, here are the Arizona Coyotes' quarter awards:

MVP: Keith Yandle

Send your hate letters now because the polarizing Yandle is my choice for MVP thus far. He leads the team in points and possession, and has been far more consistent in his own end than in years past. He plays every single game and usually at a very high level. Does he make his mistakes? Of course, but so do plenty of other players whose follies go unnoticed by the average viewer. Yandle has a well-defined role and plays it extremely well. He keeps the Coyotes in games with his offensive prowess and gobbles up a ton of minutes.

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Keith Yandle

There were a few forwards up for consideration (Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker in particular), but the slight edge goes to the MVP. Not only does Yandle lead the team in assists (12), points (15) and possession (+11.64% Fenwick Close Rel), he quarterbacks a power play that ranks fifth in the Western Conference. His ability to generate offense from the blueline makes him an elite offensive defenseman.

Most Outstanding Defensive Player: NONE

Dramatic? Maybe. Lazy? A little. No player has really stood out as a consistently great defensive force -- a big reason Arizona is below .500. If I had to give it to one player, it would be Zbynek Michalek -- who is the prototypical defensive defenseman.

Unsung Hero: Martin Hanzal

Yes, I know he is currently injured and has missed seven games already this season, but when big Hanzal plays, he has made an impact. Five goals and 11 points in 15 games is good for .73 points per game, tops on the team. His physicality and two-way game at the center position is much needed and a major factor in Arizona' success.

Best New Player: Devan Dubnyk

Dubnyk has been outstanding as the team's back-up goalie this season. He has factored into just seven games (six starts), but is 5-0-1 with a 2.34 goals against average and a save percentage of .926. He has clearly been the better of the two goaltenders and could see more starts than originally anticipated in the final three-quarters of the season.

Iggy Azalea's I'm So Fancy (Stats) Award: Kyle Chipchura

The bottom-six forward's fancies jump out, as he has a positive Fenwick Close Rel despite starting so few times in the offensive zone. He's made the most of his limited minutes. Honorable mention goes to Martin Erat, who has the fourth best Fenwick Close Rel on the team despite starting in less favorable situations than most of his teammates.

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