The Arizona Coyotes are still searching for their first win of the season, far later then anyone was expecting. Thankfully, they are only one win away from tying the Montreal Canadiens though, who have been having their own terrible start on the season. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, and getting the chance to tie another team also having a really bad start, is what we get tonight.
View From New York
The New York Islanders had an interesting offseason full of office drama. They continued their membership in the Arena Drama Club (a club Coyotes’ fans know well) and John Tavares’ contract situation will likely be a recurring story for the rest of the season. Fortunately for Islanders fans, and potentially unfortunately for Coyotes fans, those issues haven’t really affected their play on the ice. At 4-3-1 they are currently 5 in the top of a very tight race in the Metropolitan Division and holding a Wild Card.
But while their record is solid, they haven’t been scoring a lot of goals to start the season, especially for a team in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders 24 goals on the season would put them in the top 4 of the Western Conference, but in the East, they are in the bottom five. Defensively they are better, at 24 goals against they are top 5 in the Eastern Conference. Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak’s save percentage aren’t the best at .917 and .913 respectively, but those numbers are likely a lot more realistic in this small sample size.
View From Arizona
Its tough to know what else can be said about the Arizona Coyotes start. It's been brutal, and the 0-7-1 has Arizona comfortably positioned as the lowest ranked team in the NHL. Perhaps most frustrating for fans is that the team continues to show stretches of promise, not exactly looking like a good team, but not a winless team. Sooner or later the Coyotes are going to have to find a way to play a full 60-minute game.
Who will score?
Six of the Coyotes’ eights games had the Desert Dogs finish with 2 goals are fewer. That is not a good number, especially for a team letting their opponents score an average of 4.25 goals a game. The Coyotes have been getting offense from their line, but we need some secondary scoring.
Will it click tonight?
With the Coyotes making some pretty drastic moves this offseason a slow start can be a little expected, it can take time for the system to come together. Sooner or later it has to, and one night it should just click.
Can the Coyotes win?
Players to Watch
Coyotes: Max Domi - While Clayton Keller may (rightfully) be getting all the attention from Coyotes fans, Max Domi has been having a good start to his season. With 1 goal and 6 assists in the eight games played this season, Domi has definitely a bright spot for the Coyotes.
Islanders: Anders Lee - With 5 goals on the season and three in the past two games Lee leads the Islanders in goals on the season. Lee is likely going to pass 20 goals this season for the third time and may cross 30 if he continues his hot start.
Antti Raanta: Day to Day with a lower-body injury
Brendan Perlini: Out indefinitely with an upper-body injury
Jakob Chychrun: Out indefinitely with a knee injury
Scott Mayfield: Day to day with an unknown ailment
Shane Prince: Out until mid-February with an ankle injury
Alan Quine: Out until Early November with an upper-body injury
Thanks to this game being in the Eastern Time Zone tonight’s game starts at 4 pm. You can watch it on Fox Sports Arizona, or listen to it in your last hour of work on ESPN 620 AM.