When looking at the schedule it seemed pretty likely that the Arizona Coyotes would start the season 1-2-0. What is surprising is that they managed to get their one win against the Vegas Golden Knights. Even more surprising that the score in that win was 4-1.
The Coyotes looked solid through most of their first three games, but things really clicked for them on Thursday. It figures that for a team that struggles to score they would get their first goal of the night in kinda a fluke fashion. But good things happen when you put the puck on net as the Coyotes found out throughout the night.
But while Coyotes fans were happy for any goal of the night, the best was yet to come.
First-round pick Barrett Hayton looked great in his NHL debut and gifted Coyotes fans with the above thing of beauty. The Hayton, Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak line (dubbed by Jason Demers the Mute Line) played great all game and along with the top line showed how dangerous the Coyotes can be at their height. While Clayton Keller, Derek Stepan, and Phil Kessel have also played well, the Mute Line is going to make sure that teams can’t just focus on one line.
It should come as no surprise that the Colorado Avalanche have started the season strong. They are currently undefeated and have scored at least four goals in each of their three games. Their wins aren’t coming from easy wins either, the Calgary Flames led the Pacific Division last season, and the Boston Bruins went all the way to the Cup Final last season.
A criticism of the Avalanche is that once you get past their top line they don’t have much going for them. And while there is some grain of truth to that, Colorado has been getting a more balanced offense to start this season. So far eight Avalanche players have registered a goal in the first three games, double the number of Coyotes players who have scored a goal so far.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Carl Soderberg - While the Mute Line got a lot of rightfully deserved attention, the Coyotes third line also played extremely well. Conor Garland got the goals, but Soderberg has been impressive to start the season, and contributed in a lot of big and small ways throughout the night.
Colorado: Mikko Rantanen - After finishing second in points on the Avalanche last season, Rantanen has been great to start the season. He three goals in three games and has points in all three games.
Arizona: Lawson Crouse (questionable, upper body)
Colorado: Gabriel Landeskog (probable, undisclosed), Joonas Donskoi (probable, undisclosed), J. T. Compher (questionable, lower body), Ian Cole (recovering from surgery)
Tonight’s game in Colorado will start at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.