The Calgary Flames may have ended the Arizona Coyotes’ win streak but the Desert Dogs were quick to get the next streak started. The Coyotes won last night’s Pacific Division matchup against the Anaheim Ducks, a team deep in the hunt to maintain their playoff spot, and will play tonight against a team outside the playoff race.
Arizona played a tight, low scoring game yesterday against Anaheim. Scoring a goal in the first period gave the team an early lead, something they likely would not have been able to maintain earlier in the season. The Coyotes did maintain the lead though, playing defensively well while Antti Raanta kept them in the game, like he has so many times in the second half of the season.
Tonight’s game should be Coyotes fans’ first chance to see newest player Darcy Kuemper on the ice in Sedona Red. Kuemper was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings for Scott Wedgewood and Tobias Rieder, he has played 19 games this season and has a .932 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average. Coyotes GM John Chayka immediately signed Kuemper for two years, suggesting that the 'Yotes see Kuemper as a piece of their goaltending for the near future.
Vancouver comes into tonight’s game having won only three games out of the total eleven games in the month of February. Vancouver seems like they have finally embraced the rebuild, however they are very early in the process and will likely have to endure a few painful seasons finishing near the bottom of the league. As Coyotes fans can attest to, rebuilds don’t always go as planned and can be tough to endure.
Its easy to see why Vancouver is second to last in the Pacific Division. They have allowed almost as many goals as the Coyotes (200 vs 202) and have one of the worst penalty kills in the NHL with a 76.5 penalty kill percentage. Their power play is better and they are in the top ten with 21.3 power play percentage.
Coming soon . . .