The Arizona Coyotes are in unfamiliar territory, its been a long time but they are a team that has won more than they have lost. But while they are riding high on a four game win streak they will be facing off against a surprisingly difficult opponent tonight in the Carolina Hurricanes.
Arizona has been great as of late, the power play excluded. They have allowed the fewest goals against in the league (21) and have the second best penalty kill in the year (90.6). Getting shut out three times in their first four games has led to the team being in the bottom five teams in the league in goals for, but the offense has really started clicking as of late and the team has scored three or more goals in their last six games. Arizona needs to continue to find success, especially against the better teams in the league.
The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t qualified for the post season since the 2008-09 season which saw them advance all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Things definitely seem different this season though, and Carolina is currently in third in the Metropolitan Division and come in sporting a 6-5-1 record.
Carolina visits the Valley of the Sun with some very impressive younger players. Sebastian Aho has four goals already and seems ready to finish in his third consecutive season finishing with more then 20 goals and he seems well on his way to score over 30 goals for the first time in his career. Micheal Ferland seems to be enjoying his first season with the Hurricanes scoring 7 goals in 12 games. Ferland was brought in along with Dougie Hamilton and Adam Fox in exchange for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, and while Hamilton got most of the attention Ferland is making a strong case for himself deserving attention.
Looking purely at the numbers the main weakness for the Hurricanes would appear to be their goaltending. While they are 14th in goals allowed in the league, only Scott Darling who has played in one game has a save percentage north of .900 at .903. But dig a little deeper and you see that Carolina is tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for fewest average shots against per game (24.5) and top of the league in shots per game (41.7). While Arizona may have the better goaltending stats, the Hurricanes are one of the few teams that can give the Coyotes a run for their money in terms of shot differential.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Alex Galchenyuk - Galchenyuk scored his first in a Coyotes jersey against the Senators and has points in his last 3 games. Galchenyuk seems to be fitting in nicely with Clayton Keller and that is a pairing you ignore at your own peril.
Carolina: Sebastian Aho - Aho has been stellar this season and after two great seasons he seems read to make the next leap. If he continues to improve like this expect to hear his name more and more as the years progress.
Arizona: Kevin Connauton (questionable, illness), Jakob Chychrun (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Carolina: Victor Rask (hand)
Will Jordan Martinook score a goal against his former team tonight?
This poll is closed
No, but he gets an assist