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GDT: Coyotes fly into Winnipeg

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Fresh off a win against the Chicago Blackhawks the Arizona Coyotes continue their road trip and face off against the Winnipeg Jets.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

After a slow start that saw the Arizona Coyotes get shut out three out of four games, the ‘Yotes needed a big game against the Chicago Blackhawks. After consistently outshooting their opponents it seemed like it was only a matter of time until the Coyotes offense kicked in, and that time came against the Blackhawks. Arizona scored three goals against Corey Crawford and netted an empty net goal, giving them double their season goals in a single game.

Arizona’s game against the Blackhawks was another showcase of the fabled Coyotes youth movement. Lawson Crouse, Vinnie Hinostroza, and Clayton Keller all had goals with Hinostroza netting the game winner and the empty netter to finish the game. Antti Raanta also played an extremely good game for Arizona, he stopped 33 of 34 shots for a .971 save percentage. After seeing Raanta play well while the team in front of him was unable to score, it was nice to see everything come together.

Since relocating from Atlanta the Thrashers Winnipeg Jets have historically had minimal success with only one post season appearance where they were swept by the Anaheim Ducks. Last season they took a major step forward, finishing with 114 points and advancing to the Western Conference Finals where they were eliminated in five games by the Vegas Golden Knights. It may have taken some time but the Jets have become an elite team in the Western Conference.

Winnipeg has been off to a solid start so far and are coming into the game with a record of 4-2-1. Their younger players, like forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor and defenseman Josh Morrisey, have been leading the Jets’ offense with 5 points each. It’s still early but a potential weakness for Winnipeg is goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Winnipeg has historically had weak goaltending, but Hellebuyck’s second season as a starter saw him sport a 2.36 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. So far this season Hellebuyck has been inconsistent, allowing 5 goals twice and 1 goal three times. Scoring has been up this season but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Winnipeg lost the games where they allowed the other team to score 5 goals. This may be why Winnipeg has decided to start their back up goalie Laurent Brossoit for the second time this season. Another young player at only age 25, he has only played in 30 NHL games with a career save percentage of .902 and a goals against average of 2.90. However, in his only other start this season Brossoit posted a .977 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.00 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had a goal and an assist in the game against the Chicago Blackhawks. His assist in the Crouse goal was key to Arizona recording their first 5-on-5 goal of the season and hopefully is just the start of Keller collecting points.

Winnipeg: Dustin Byfuglien - The veteran defenseman for the Winnipeg Jets has been with the franchise since they Atlanta Thrashers days and has been key one of their best players. He notched a goal and two assists in the Jet’s last game against the Vancouver Canucks and is definitely a player the Coyotes can’t discount.

Injuries

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

Winnipeg: Nic Petan (questionable, personal reasons)

Poll

How many goals will Winnipeg allow?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    1
    (6 votes)
  • 15%
    5
    (4 votes)
  • 61%
    Some other number
    (16 votes)
26 votes total Vote Now