Now that we’ve all had time to digest the game from last night, let’s take another look at it. (Winning is fun. The Arizona Coyotes need to do this more)
The first period started out at a high pace and never slowed down. Anthony Duclair’s first goal of the night (his first as a Coyote) was created on a play right off the face off won by Martin Hanzal. Anton Khudobin was screened by his own player as it seemed to go right through his feet.
Duclair’s second goal came on the powerplay. Max Domi came speeding into the neutral zone and drove to the net. He left the puck at Khudobin’s feet and Duclair swooped in and put the puck in the net.
The power play was a result of Carl Hagelin making a desperate slash on Domi’s stick. Domi still had something up his sleeve last night. The third goal of the evening was a gorgeous backhand by Domi from Mikkel Boedker and Zbynek Michalek.
That was the end of Khudobin’s night and Frederick Andersen was in.
In the second period the tempo was still up, but the Ducks tried to push back. Duclair was able to score his third goal of the night on a nice feed from Tobias Rieder and Martin Hanzal. It was on a delayed penalty call; Kesler had hit Hanzal in the face right before the goal happened.
Together, the three goals marked Anthony Duclair’s first NHL Hat Trick, and it took him 21 games to get it. Throughout the period there was a lot of fast back and forth and a few times Mike Smith lost his helmet in frays, but otherwise it was smooth sailing for the Coyotes
Mike Smith decided that no one was going to score on him and he slammed the door shut. The Ducks did start to become frustrated and it came to a head when Kevin Bieksa elbowed Boedker in the face when he was not looking. He was assessed just a 2 minute minor, but fortunately Boedker did seem to be okay.
Shots on Goal
Faceoff Win Percentage
Corsi For (by Period)
Anaheim : 15, 22, 17 (Total: 54)
Arizona: 15, 19, 19 (Total: 53)
Looking at the stats of the game, the Coyotes did keep up with the Ducks. The Coyotes had 29 shots on goal, 9, missed shots and 15 blocked shots for 53 shot attempts and 28 of those were considered scoring chances.12 of those chances were high danger scoring chances.
In the end Mike Smith stopped all 37 shots to earn his 28th career shutout and his 97th career win with the Coyotes. This was Smith’s first shutout since March 4th, 2014 versus the Vancouver Canucks.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Anthony Duclair - Duclair had the hat trick, and had five shots on goal in 15:28 of time on ice.
2. Mike Smith - Mike Smith was spectacular again, stopping 37 of 37 shots.
3. Max Domi - Domi had a goal and an assist, as well as five shots on goal in 15:25 of time on ice.
Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are going to be staples of the franchise for a very long time. At 20 years old they are playing at a level that is making the Coyotes fun to watch again. The second goal seemed to be set up as pure instinct from Domi knowing that Duclair would clean up behind him.
They have been playing together for a while but sometimes when a duo clicks on ice, you know it’s a good thing. Those two are money. They’re 20 years old, making amazing plays, and its only going to get better from here.
Mike Smith is dialed in this season. In the off season, the hiring of John Elkin and Smith seeing a sports psychologist helped him find his game again. He looks like the Smith I started watching three seasons ago. Confident and ready to go. Let’s see if he can still go tonight versus the Wild.
The Ducks seem to be out of sorts. Something is running foul in Anaheim. You can see their side of the game at Anaheim Calling.
The Coyotes are starting to make a stir in the league. There is a lot of talk saying ‘The Coyotes are going to be terrible, they still have no star power on the team.’ Looking at the team as it sets right now, it is more like an upgraded version of past teams that went into the playoffs. Yes, the team cannot sustain this pace and the rookies will hit a wall.
But you have to admit, it is fun watching the Coyotes win.
The next game the Arizona Coyotes play is at home versus the Minnesota Wild on October 15th (tonight), at 7:00pm.