1. The new guy
On the first shot of his first shift as a Coyote, recent pickup Mark Arcobello beat Antti Niemi to give the team an early lead over the visiting San Jose Sharks. He played just short of 17 minutes in his debut, won 9 of 16 faceoffs and tallied three hits.
2. Young Yotes
The "Youth Movement" certainly didn't happen the way many fans hoped it would this past offseason, and it hasn't necessarily happened yet. Yet things are moving in a younger direction, with players like Lucas Lessio and Jordan Martinook playing quality minutes and contributing more consistently. Michael Stone has matured into a solid top-4 defenseman, and more youth is certainly in the cards for the Coyotes' core of blueliners.
3. Vitale back in action
After being sidelined with an upper-body injury, grinder Joe Vitale returned to Arizona's lineup on Valentine's Day. He blocked three shots and added two of his own in the offensive end.
4. Rinne's save series
Watch Pekka Rinne and his absolute robbery of multiple chances:
5. The Minnesota Wild
An impressive 8-1-1 in their last ten, the Wild have become a formidable opponent since adding former Coyote Devan Dubnyk as their starting goaltender. There is nothing Yotes fans love more than watching former players massively succeed in a different uniform!
1. Shot shortage in Colorado
In an impressive display of incompetence, the Coyotes offense went 24 minutes and three seconds without putting a shot on goal during their game against the Avalanche, a streak which lasted the entirety of the second frame. Brandon Gormley's shot early in the third period ended that depressing exhibition.
2. Smitty goes cold
After being touted as a February monster in last week's column, Mike Smith drops from Hot to Not after two less-than-tremendous performances against the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks. The Rangers game was especially ugly for Smith, who surrendered five goals on 32 shots, four of which came in the third period.
3. Gotta play 60
None of Arizona's three games this week began particularly ugly on behalf of the Coyotes. Yet focus seemed to wane as the clock ticked, and each tilt seemed to, either slowly or abruptly, slip from the team's grasp. The trend might be due to an added amount of youth in the lineup, but one would hope these players and their games mature sooner rather than later.
4. The Toronto Maple Leafs
On the Not list for the second consecutive week, the Leafs are dismal 1-7-2 in their last ten and show no signs of turning things around. McEichel is certainly a possibility for Toronto if things continue as they have been. I'm sure the media and fanbase there are taking this season well.
5. Ovechkin/Getzlaf beef
After being accused of diving by the Ducks Ryan Getzlaf, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals responded with a shot of his own: "Maybe he's just jealous. I have hair, he don't have hair." Things are getting heated, but this rivalry ain't Hot.