The Colorado Avalanche are rolling in to Glendale tonight as the Arizona Coyotes continue in the fourth game of a five game homestand. So far results for the home team have been underwhelming only winning one of the three games played at Gila River Arena, a marked difference from their previous homestand record of 4-1.
The good news is that a number of players have returned to the lineup including Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski. Chychrun earned his first point of the season in his first home game against the Vegas Golden Knights. In even more good news there is the potential that starting goalie Antti Raanta may return this evening and take over for backup Darcy Kuemper.
Hearing Coyotes G Antti Raanta is probable to return tonight vs. Colorado (6 PM start). There is no AM skate/media availability, but the team has a workout after which a final decision will likely be made. Raanta hasn't played since Nov. 2. vs. Carolina, missing the past 8 games.— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) November 23, 2018
Getting Raanta back would be a huge boost for the team and could get them back to their winning ways. Regardless of who is in net, the Coyotes will still need to improve their offense to have any hope of defeating one of the best lines in the NHL.
The Avalanche’s top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have combined for a total of 88 points in just 21 games. For comparison the Coyotes’ top three lines have combined for 76 points in 20 games. Fortunately things can change quickly in the NHL as the Avalanche already know.
Last season Colorado surprised many people by making the playoffs. They rebounded from a historically bad 2016-17 record of 22-56-4 to 2017-18’s record of 43-30-9. The 47 point jump in the standings, from 48 to 95, was also historic tying for the fourth highest year-to-year improvement in NHL history.
The @Avalanche (43-30-9, 95 points) concluded the season with 47 more points than their 2016-17 total (22-56-4, 48 points), tied for the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement by a team in NHL history. #NHLStats #STLvsCOL pic.twitter.com/Xbcill7B25— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 8, 2018
If the Coyotes can improve their offense they could be the next team to go from last in the conference to making the playoffs just like the Avalanche.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Derek Stepan - he had two goals in the last game against Vegas and is tied for first in goals on the team.
Colorado: Mikko Rantanen - he leads the entire league in points and is on one of the best top lines in hockey with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.
Arizona: Jason Demers (knee), Antti Raanta (lower body), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Colorado: J.T. Compher (questionable - concussion), Conor Timmins (IR - concussion),
Can the Coyotes keep one of the best lines (Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen) in the NHL off the scoreboard?
This poll is closed