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Monday Musings: The quest for a home win

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The Coyotes continue to search for a winning formula.

Richard Triana

Another week has passed and the win column is locked at 10. The Arizona Coyotes showed improvement in their latest game, but a home win has eluded them for the last nine contests.

As the Coyotes are stuck somewhere between mediocre and McDavid, head coach Dave Tippett continues to tinker with the lineup in hopes of finding a combination of players that can at least give his team a chance to win.

As the Coyotes search for their first home win since Nov. 4, let's take a look back at the week that was in Coyotes hockey:

- Sam Gagner was a healthy scratch for the first time in his Coyotes career on Saturday night. No. 9 has struggled to find his offensive game thus far, but that is as much of a product of the team around him as it is his own play. Gagner undoubtably needs to perform better than he has, but it is tough to evaluate any offensively gifted players on this team right now. He is being used much like Mike Ribeiro was last season, albeit with better linemates.

- Arizona's penalty kill has been awful and that cannot be talked about enough. They rank 28th in the NHL, killing off just 75.5 percent of its opponent's power plays. They sorely miss Boyd Gordon. Maybe bringing in a 4th line center with little PK experience to bolster the kill was not the best idea.

- Connor Murphy got a chance to cool his Jets on Saturday, a move that should help him find his game -- he'll be back in the lineup soon. Murphy has struggled despite playing very favorable minutes this season. He's still very young (21), and his coach has not lost any confidence in his long-term upside.

- The Keith Yandle trade talk has cropped up again, including Darren Dreger's yearly Yandle-for-Kadri trade rumor. Could this be the year he is moved? Yes. Is it likely? I have no indication that is the case.

- General Manager Don Maloney has set a high price for Yandle -- that has been known for awhile. Is there any reason to believe that price has lowered? Not this season. Is it possible Yandle's pending 2016-17 UFA status comes into play next season, but for now he remains Arizona's best offensive player.

- Even if the Coyotes go into some sort of rebuild, there is no reason Yandle cannot be a part of it. He's only 28 and one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL. He makes forwards better, and will do the same with the young ones in the system.

- In conjunction with the rest of the team, December has not been a good month for the two netminders. Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk have a combined save percentage of .884 through six games. There is nowhere to turn for solace.