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GDT: Fire in the Arizona Desert

The Arizona Coyotes continue their homestand by facing off against the Calgary Flames tonight.

Calgary Flames v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

Last week the Arizona Coyotes took on the other team from Alberta, holding the Edmonton Oilers scoreless in a 1-0 win, while extending their win streak to four and causing Cam Talbot to deposit a few dollars in the swear jar. It has taken most of the season but the Desert Dogs are finally looking like a team that can compete for a full sixty minutes and can string together consecutive wins.

The Coyotes’ games during the win streak have alternated between high scoring affairs, like a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks or a 5-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens, to tight low scoring games, like the aforementioned 1-0 win against the Oilers or their 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks. The defense has finally started clicking and Antti Raanta has been providing some stellar goaltending, which is leading to a Coyotes team that is hard to score on. The offense doesn’t have the same consistency yet, but the way the team is currently playing there is enough to keep the team in the game.

After yesterday’s trade Arizona will be missing some familiar faces, with forward Tobias Rieder and goaltender Scott Wedgewood having been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper could be an important part of the Coyotes lineup moving forward, but hopefully he won’t see too much action tonight. The Sasketchewan native will join Josh Archibald and Luke Schenn in finding a warm welcome tonight as it is the annual Riderville Arizona game. The traditional game when fans of the CFL’s Sasketchewan Roughriders take a break from the cold and join in on cheering for the Coyotes.

The Calgary Flames are an interesting team this year for a number of reasons. They traded for former Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith (who is questionable for tonight with a groin injury) during the past offseason and seemed to make a few solid strides to taking the next step. In some ways they do look like a better team, but they are currently outside the playoff bubble in an exceptionally weird Pacific Division which has an expansion team comfortably leading the division.

Tonight’s game will be the second game of a back to back for the Flames as they faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights. There is probably not enough data to determine how long the Vegas Flu stays in their system, but hopefully the Flames will still be worn out. For more information on the Flames check out Matchsticks and Gasoline.

Game Wrap Up

Coming soon . . .