The Arizona Coyotes are frustrated. With just two goals in four games the Desert Dogs have already been shut out three times this season. When the team announced that Alex Galchenyuk was injured and would miss the start of the season it was expected the offense would take a hit, but the lack of goals goes well beyond that. The team needs offense from key players from last season like Clayton Keller, Derek Stepan, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson and new acquisitions like Michael Grabner.
Arizona has been doing one thing right despite the slow start, they have been controlling the game. Excluding the first period against the Buffalo Sabres, the Coyotes have controlled the pace pretty consistently since the start of the season. Arizona is currently third in the league in CF%* at 60.43%, and they are currently fifth in the league in Shots/GP at 36.5 and first in league in Shots Against/GP at 23.3. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of second chances and sustaining pressure in the offensive zone along with a need to work on the defensive lapses, but the Coyotes have a strong foundation upon which to build.
While Arizona has had the chance to rest since Saturday, the Minnesota Wild played against one of the top teams in the league last night, the Nashville Predators. On the road the Wild lost 4-2 to the 2017-18 Regular Season Western Conference Champions with Mikko Koivu and Matt Dumba scoring for the Wild. Minnesota started Alex Stalock last night, a sign that they may be saving Devan Dubnyk for tonight.
With a current record of 1-2-2 the Wild have more goals and points then the Coyotes, but not by much. The Wild’s lone win came in a 4-3 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks, while they have points for an overtime loss against the Carolina Hurricanes and a shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights; their other loss came in regulation against the Colorado Avalanche. Minnesota has largely been the complete opposite of the Coyotes in terms of shots, ranking 21st in Shots/GP at 30.0 and 31st in Shots Against/GP and having a CF%* of 44.25.
*Courtesy of Corsica
Players to Watch
Arizona: Dylan Strome - Strome is one of two Coyotes players with a goal this season. He started off the season as one of the Coyotes biggest question marks but has been solid early on. Not only has he pushed play but he has been great in the faceoff circle winning 38 of 57 draws.
Minnesota: Zach Parise - Parise leads the Wild with 7 points, including 2 assists last night against the Predators. Parise lost most of last season to injuries but seems to be coming out of the gate strong.
Arizona: Jakob Chychrun (knee), Alex Galchenyuk (groin), and Christian Dvorak (back)
Minnesota: Joel Eriksson Ek (upper body)
Who will score the first Coyotes goal of the game?
This poll is closed