After a rough two-game start, the Arizona Coyotes have turned things around and have points in their past five games. In that time they scored twenty goals, compared to the one goal they scored against the Anaheim Ducks in their first two games.
While the Coyotes have played extremely well against some good teams one thing stands out. The Coyotes have been gifted with a few opportunities early on to face off against other teams’ back up goaltenders.
In their seven games, the Coyotes have faced off against Craig Anderson, Juuse Saros, Connor Hellebuyck, Pavel Francouz, Malcolm Subban, Marc-Andre Fleury (Subban started the game and was replaced with Fleury), Jaroslav Halak and John Gibson. Of those only Anderson, Hellebuyck, and Gibson would be considered starters, and if last year and this season is any indication Halak may be serving as a 1 b.
At this point, it’s a pretty even split between the Coyotes getting starters and backups. Teams may have looked at the Coyotes’ goal scoring last season and this preseason and thought that the Coyotes won’t be as big a problem. But the Coyotes this season aren’t the same ones as last, and if teams thought they can sleep on the Coyotes offense they likely won’t be thinking that for long.
Seven games into the season the Coyotes are currently tied for 20th in goals scored with the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks. This is all the more impressive considering the Sharks have played eight games and the Stars have played ten.
It remains to be seen if the offense will continue, but the Coyotes are currently on pace to be a middle ten goalscoring team this season. Last season the Coyotes were 28th in goals for and missed the playoffs by only four points. If the Coyotes offense is just average this season and they continue to be a solid defensive team, they have currently allowed the fewest goals, then the playoffs are looking more and more likely.