The Arizona Coyotes are a team that never ceases to surprise. After three games with minimal offense they managed to pull out a 6-4 victory against the Colorado Avalanche, a playoff bound team. The fact that the Coyotes managed to score as many goals in one game as they have in four preceding it and the fact the Avalanche were able to tie it up after being down 4-1 does point to the team’s underlying issues with consistency.
Despite the underlying problems there is a lot to be excited about in the Coyotes win. They were got offense from veterans like Derek Stepan, Richard Panik, and Brad Richardson. They also got goals from younger players like Christian Fischer and Conor Garland, with Garland scoring his first NHL goal. They also managed to pretty outshoot the Avalanche in the second and third period, despite the collapse in the the third period where they allowed Colorado to score three goals.
The two weeks since the Coyotes lost to the Sharks have gone mostly as you would have expected. They won four of six games and have outscored their opponents 24-15. Like the Coyotes they played last night, losing 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime which saw Lukas Radil score his third and Joe Pavelski score his 23. In the game prior they lost 5-3 against the Winnipeg Jets, so again the Coyotes may get to catch another team in a slump.
The Sharks loss may be bigger then it initially appeared. During the second period star defenseman Erik Karlsson hit Austin Wagner and made contact with Wagner’s head. Erik Karlsson is scheduled to have a hearing with the Department of Play Safety today and could miss time. Karlsson is one of the best defensemen in the league, so if the Coyotes can avoid facing him all the better.
Its official, Erik Karlsson will miss tonight’s game.
San Jose’s Erik Karlsson has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Los Angeles’ Austin Wagner. https://t.co/Z0rvka0KQf— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 23, 2018
Players to Watch
Arizona: Brad Richardson - With Richardson’s two goals he has become the Coyotes’ leading goal scorer. While the team mostly looks for him for a solid defensive presence its great that he is able to generate offense as well.
San Jose: Joe Pavelski - You would be forgiven for expecting Pavelski to start slowing down. But with a goal last night against the Kings Pavelski has officially surpassed his goals last season.
Arizona: Vinnie Hinostroza (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
San Jose: No injuries to report
The Coyotes found their offense last night. Can they keep that up tonight?
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