Consistent is not a word that you can use to describe the Arizona Coyotes. After a four game win streak the Coyotes are currently in the middle of a three game losing streak. The team looked like they had a chance to end the streak when they went up 2-0 early against the Boston Bruins, but they let Boston come from behind and they ultimately lost 4-3.
Arizona is currently dealing with injuries to key players. Alex Galchenyuk was brought in to provide offense, and while he hasn’t lived up to expectations he is still a big part of the top line. Michael Grabner is a key part of the Coyotes’ NHL best penalty kill and provided some secondary scoring. Vinnie Hinostroza may not have had the consistent offense the team would have hoped for, but he brings speed and is still a key part of the offense. And that’s not to mention the biggest injury, the team recently announced Antti Raanta could miss the rest of the season. The team is going to need to dig deep to overcome so many injuries to so many important players.
Early this season the Coyotes faced off against the Buffalo Sabres and lost. The Coyotes’ had started slow, and they were shut out by the Sabres. You could be forgiven if you thought that the lose was because the Coyotes couldn’t keep it together, but credit should be given to the Sabres. Buffalo has been surprisingly competitive this season and with 40 points they have a playoff spot in the competitive Atlantic Division.
Buffalo has had multiple high draft picks so it shouldn’t be surprising that they are finally competitive this season. Interestingly enough though they don’t really have the underlying numbers you would think. They are 13th in goals allowed and 18th in goals for, not exactly high end numbers. Their power play is 18th with a 18.6% success rating and the penalty kill is 12th (81.5%). But the most important stat for Buffalo is that they are tied for 6th in wins.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz - Since being acquired by the Sabres Schmaltz has been one of the Coyotes best sources for offense. He had the opening goal against the Bruins and has three goals in the last five games.
Buffalo: Jack Eichel - The former second overall pick has been hot as of late. He has five goals in the last three games and six total points in that period.
Arizona: Alex Galchenyuk (questionable, lower body), Vinnie Hinostroza (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Buffalo: Patrik Berglund (questionable, illness), Matt Hunwick (neck), Casey Nelson (upper body), Jake McCabe (upper body), Marco Scandella (head), Scott Wilson (lower body)
Which ends tonight, the Coyotes’ three game losing streak or Jack Eichel’s three game goals streak?
This poll is closed
Coyotes’ losing streak
Eichel’s goal streak