The Arizona Coyotes had a lot of reasons to have a good game on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets. It was a big day for their former Captain and they are desperately needed two points to stay in the playoff race. And while they didn’t draw first blood, they did ultimately win the night 4-1. The Jets are one of the best teams, and while they may be in a bit of a slump lately its good that the Coyotes were able to play up and get two points.
With the win against the Jets the Coyotes are only three points out of a playoff spot. While they were pretty quiet at the trade deadline they did manage a big addition in getting Christian Dvorak back. Dvorak missed the entire seasons up until this point and he may have a bit of rust, but he will add to the Coyotes as the team enters the final stretch.
Its pretty clear that the Western and Eastern Conferences are very different this season. Case in point, while the Florida Panthers have one more point then the Coyotes, but they are eight points out of the playoffs and they likely won’t make it. For Florida to make it in they would have to leapfrog the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which would be a big feat.
Like the Coyotes the Panthers had a pretty quiet trade deadline. The biggest trade was sending the recently acquired Derick Brassard to the Colorado Avalanche. The trade was notable mostly because the Panthers played the Avalanche last night so Brassard didn’t have to go far. They also made a few smaller moves, which seems to suggest they don’t expect to make a big push to make up that point deficit.
The Florida Panthers can definitely score and are ranked twelve in the league in goals scored with 191 goals for. Fortunately for the Coyotes they also allow a lot of goals, and allowing 203 goals puts them 24th in the league. They have the third best power play in the league converting 26.3% of the time and a surprisingly decent penalty kill at 81.7% ranked ninth in the league. Florida definitely has the edge in special teams, but the Coyotes may have the edge on 5 on 5.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Lawson Crouse - Crouse has goals in his last two games for a total of ten on the season. Like most of the team he is struggling to generate offense this season but hopefully he will start can generate a lot of offense in the final quarter of the season.
Florida: Mike Hoffman - There were rumors that Hoffman would get moved at the deadline but he is staying in Florida for the rest of the season. He had a goal and two assists last nights and five points in the last three games.
Arizona: Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee)
Florida: Denis Malgin (questionable, undisclosed), Mike Matheson (doubtful, lower body), Colton Sceviour (wrist), Derek MacKenzie (shoulder)
Who scores first for the Coyotes?
This poll is closed