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GDT: Coyotes blow into the Windy City

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The Arizona Coyotes continue their road trip and play the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time this season.

Arizona Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Game Preview

On Tuesday the Arizona Coyotes began their road trip against a tired Minnesota Wild squad looking to get back in the win column. The team even managed to score a rare goal with Brendan Perlini scoring his first goal of the season for the 'Yotes on a power play in the first to give the team an early lead. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Minnesota was able to tie the game with Mikael Granlund’s second goal of the season in the second period. Minnesota was largely in control of the third period, and a goal from Eric Staal just over six minutes in gave the Wild their first lead of the night. A poorly timed cross checking penalty committed by Dylan Strome with less than a minute left in the game sealed it and the Coyotes fell 2-1.

Arizona’s lack of offense continues to be a trend. They again managed to outshoot an opponent, this time 32-28, but they didn’t have the same control of the pace of prior games. It is very telling that although the Coyotes have outshot every opponent so far, the four shot buffer against the Wild is the lowest so far. Also telling is the Wild having 10 shots on goal compared to Arizona’s 8 in the third, a period where they needed to exercise the most control of the game. And for all the talk of needing to get more people to the front of the net it's funny that the Coyotes’ lone goal of the game was pretty much just Perlini and Devan Dubnyk.

Last season the Blackhawks were close to the bottom of the Western Conference, finishing seventh in the Central Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season. It seemed like the Cup window was beginning to close for Chicago as they have a number of players who are no longer playing at the level that their contracts command. Surprisingly though Chicago is off to a hot start, they haven’t lost in regulation and sport a 3-0-2 record.

Key to Chicago’s success has been the play of their skaters. With their starting goaltender Corey Crawford sidelined early with an injury nobody would blame the Blackhawks for a slow start. Thanks to the play of veterans like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (both with 5 goals and a combined 17 points) and the amazing start for sophomore Alex DeBrincat (6 goals and 3 assists) the Blackhawks have managed to find success though. Considering Cam Ward hasn’t exactly been stellar with a .879 save percentage and goals against average of 4.06 the Blackhawks model at this point seems to be outscoring their lack of goaltending.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Antti Raanta - So far this season the Coyotes goaltenders have been the best players on the ice. Raanta has made some misses this season but you can’t say that he hasn’t kept the team in the game.

Chicago: Alex DeBrincat - We talked about it earlier but DeBrincat has been great this season. When Chicago faced off against the St. Louis Blues DeBrincat had the game tying goal in the third period and netted the game winning overtime goal with only nine seconds left.

Injuries

Arizona: Jakob Chychrun (knee), Alex Galchenyuk (questionable, groin), Christian Dvorak (back)

Chicago: Andreas Martines (questionable, back), Connor Murphy (back), Gustav Forsling (wrist), Corey Crawford (probable, concussion)

Gameday Poll

Poll

Cam Ward’s goals against average is 4.06 so far this season. How many goals can the Coyotes score against Chicago?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    0
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    1
    (4 votes)
  • 18%
    2
    (5 votes)
  • 33%
    3
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    4
    (1 vote)
  • 14%
    5 or more
    (4 votes)
27 votes total Vote Now