The Coyotes have sure put that 7-0 thrashing against Pittsburgh behind them and have turned this road trip around rattling off two straight wins. A blowout in Detroit and a nail biter in Toronto. The Coyotes look to be playing some of the best hockey they have been playing all year and have tough test in a rare afternoon game in Minnesota.
Will the Coyotes come out victorious?
View from Minnesota
For more info on Minnesota check out Hockey Wilderness
If you spot flames in downtown Minnesota don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just coming from the Xcel Center because the Minnesota Wild are on fire. They have pulled of six straight wins and have only failed to get points once in their last thirteen games and are currently the second best team in the west. They seem to be firing on all cylinders right now.
One of the biggest reasons for the Wilds success is the play of ex-Coyotes net minder Devan Dubnyk, who is playing as good as any other goalie in the league right now. Currently, he is on a career best 8-0-2 run and leases the league in goals allowed average with 1.62 and save percentage with .947. The Wild have also scored the thirteenth most goals in the league with Eric Staal leading the team in points with twenty two.
View from Arizona
After a blowout win in the Motor City and a crazy finish the other night against Toronto the Coyotes are looking to end this road trip and head back to Glendale with a three game winning streak. After going through a rut the last few weeks and losing one of their best players the Coyotes offense seems to finally be waking up, having scored eleven goals in their last four games.
The return of form for Mike Smith has been a welcoming sight for the Coyotes. He has played well all season and performs even better when he faces forty or more shots which seems to be the trend as of late for the Coyotes. Smith has a 4-0-2 record when facing 40 or more shots. In his career he is 4-8-1 in fourteen games against the wild with a GAA of 2.27
- Will the Coyotes be able to score on Dubnyk? - As I mentioned earlier Devan Dubnyk is currently the hottest goalie in the league. With an offense thats as inconsistent as the Coyotes they could have a hard time lighting the lamp tonight... Which leads me to my second question
- Can the Coyotes offense keep stay hot? - After recently going through a six game streak where they only scored ten goals, the Coyotes offense has sure seemed to have picked up a bit. They have lit the lamp eleven times in four games. The Coyotes offense has struggled quite a bit this year but this could be a sign in the right direction or them.
- Will Anthony Duclair end his slump anytime soon? - After scoring twenty goals last year Anthony Duclair seems to have been hit hard by his sophomore slump and only has five points this year. Almost every player goes through a slump at one point in another in their career. But the Coyotes could sure benefit from Duclair getting his scoring touch back. He did record one assist this week against Detroit so he could be taking a step in the right direction.
Players to watch
Arizona - Anthony DeAngelo The Coyotes Rookie D-Man has sure been impressive this season. Not only has he averaged an impression 19:10 of ice time per game this season he also has provided a nice scoring touch from the blue line for the Coyotes. This season he has nine points in fifteen games. He has definitely looked solid all year and we can see why the Coyotes traded for him at the draft.
Minnesota - Eric Staal After a very disappointing season with the Hurricanes and the Rangers, Staal has revitalized his career in The Land of 10,000 lakes. He has nine goals this year including three in his last two games and seems well on the way to pass last years total of thirteen. One thing the Wild always seem good at is balancing the offense with veterans and young players and Staal is the perfect example of that.
Arizona - Max Domi underwent successful hand surgery this week and will be out for undetermined amount of time. A big blow to the Coyotes. Also Connor Murphy is questionable for todays game with a Upper Body Injury
Minnesota - Wild Center Zac Dalpe is out indefintely with a lower body injury after he had surgery to repair a torn MCL
Puck Drop - Todays game gets underway bright and early today. Puck Drop is at noon Arizona Time and can be watched on Fox Sports Arizona Plus or listened to on KTAR 92.3