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The Arizona Coyotes are finally playing as expected

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All is not well for the Arizona Coyotes. But that's not terribly surprising.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A young team with suspect defense, unproven goaltending, and poor possession stats. That's what the Arizona Coyotes were before the season started. And that's what they are now.

The Coyotes are 2-6-2 in their last ten games. The 162 goals they have conceded this year is outpaced only by the Edmonton Oilers in the West, and it took an 8-1 drubbing over the weekend for the Oilers to pass the Coyotes. Arizona's 46.6 5v5 Corsi Percentage is somehow a full two percentage points worse than last year's brutal campaign.

Only the stellar play of Louis Domingue was keeping Arizona afloat in playoff position, and now Domingue has started to feel the pain of playing in front of a defense that quite simply is not up to snuff. Ten shorthanded goals conceded this season has made even the power play seem more like a liability than an asset.

All of these doom-and-gloom statistics would not feel so deflating if it weren't for how lucky the Coyotes got to begin the season. A mediocre Pacific Division, combined with sensational debuts from Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, and Jordan Martinook gave Coyotes fans hope that maybe the rebuild would not be as long and painful as expected.

Now, as the Trade Deadline inches closer, the conversation is leaning more towards trading players like Mikkel Boedker than gearing up for a playoff run. Arizona is only three points away from a playoff spot in the Pacific, but Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Jose all look like far more complete teams than Arizona does right now. The talent in key areas is simply not there for the Coyotes.

In some ways, that's the good news. Arizona is not underachieving like the Nashville Predators or falling apart like the Montreal Canadiens. They are simply now playing as expected.