Fans of the Arizona Coyotes have come to expect inconsistent offense, and against the New York Islanders the team met expectations. They managed to score first with Mario Kempe netting his goal of the season with a shot through traffic.
Unfortunately Joshua Ho-Sang would tie it up with his first of the season late in the first, and Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier would both score their eleventh late in the second period. The Yotes had three power play opportunities to retake the lead after the Islanders went up 3-1 and they couldn’t convert. Despite outshooting the Islanders in the third 16-5 the Coyotes couldn’t come back.
Arizona’s offense has been a problem since last season. It was one of the reasons that the Coyotes traded Max Domi to Montreal for Alex Galchenyuk. Initially it looked like the Coyotes were the winners of that trade, but unfortunately the offense still hasn’t clicked. The playoffs aren’t completely out of reach yet, but if the team keeps playing like this it may be out of reach sooner rather then later.
The Canadiens are a difficult team to predict. They have missed the playoffs twice in the past three seasons, but they won their division the time they made it in. They currently have a wild card spot, but they are the only team in the Eastern Conference with a playoff spot that has a negative goal differential. They are coming into tonight’s game on a two game losing streak, having been shut out 4-0 against the Boston Bruins and last night they lost 2-1 to the Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal is a better then average offensive team (13th, 107 goals for), and a worse then average defensive team (25th, 113 goals against). They have been getting solid offense from key players like former Coyote Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, and Brendan Gallagher who all have over ten goals. Montreal is in the first full year of a Carey Price and Antti Niemi tandem, and both players seem to be on a decline. Price has a 2.91 goals against average and .902 save percentage, while Niemi has a 4.14 goals against average and .876 save percentage. Tonight will be the second time in a row that the Coyotes play a team with a worse power play then them (30th, 12.4%) and a worse penalty kill (23rd, 77.2%).
Players to Watch
Arizona: Alex Galchenyuk - Galchenyuk hasn’t had his best start in the desert. He missed the start of the season, and he’s been moved to the wing despite his expressed desire to play center. Despite all of that he has flashes of solid play and he will hopefully play his best against his former team.
Montreal: Max Domi - Domi seems to be benefiting from his change of scenery. He currently leads the team in points with 14 goals and 19 assists.
Arizona: Vinnie Hinostroza (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
Montreal: Jordie Benn (questionable, undisclosed), Joel Armia (knee)
Can the Coyotes’ struggling power play generate against the struggling Montreal penalty kill?
This poll is closed