The Arizona Coyotes’ last game against the Chicago Blackhawks had massive implications. A win would keep the Desert Dogs in the playoff race and add create some space between them and the teams chasing them. A loss wouldn’t necessarily mean the season was over, but it would make things much tougher moving forward. It was a low event game, but the Coyotes managed a 1-0 victory and they can still make it into the playoffs.
Tuesday’s win against the Blackhawks wasn’t exactly the most decisive victory. The Coyotes’ scoring struggles continued and ideally you would want the team to be able to score more then once in such an important game. Darcy Kuemper has proven he can carry the team, but ideally at this point the team shouldn’t be depending on him so much to win. Shutting out one of the top ten offenses in the league is still something to be celebrated though, and the win will hopefully give the team momentum going into the end of the season.
A few weeks ago it looked like the Colorado Avalanche were out of the running. But the Avalanche got hot at the right time, and thanks to the rest of of the Western Conference struggling they have the. The Avalanche are currently riding a six game point streak, including a 4-3 win on Wednesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Like the Coyotes last opponents, the Colorado Avalanche score a lot and they are tenth in the league in goals for. Defensively they are average though, and the 231 goals they have allowed is sixteenth in the league. Not surprisingly they have a good power play (seventh overall, 22.1%) but in more of a surprise they have a terrible penalty kill (26th, 77.9%). The Coyotes’ penalty kill will definitely be tested tonight, and if it can stop the Avalanche’s power play it may prove to be the difference maker.
Games to Watch
The Minnesota Wild are playing the Vegas Golden Knights tonight. The Golden Knights didn’t do the Coyotes any favors by losing to the Avalanche but hopefully they can get a win tonight.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Darcy Kuemper - At this point in the season its no question who the Coyotes’ MVP is. As the season comes to an end the Coyotes are going to need their goaltender to lead them to victory.
Colorado: Nathan MacKinnon - MacKinnon had a goal and an assist in the Avalanche’s last game and currently leads the Avalanche with 38 goals and 94 points.
Arizona: Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body)
Colorado: Mikko Rantanen (questionable, upper body), Gabriel Landeskog (questionable, shoulder), Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder), Conor Timmins (concussion)
Will the Golden Knights help the Coyotes with a win against the Wild tonight?
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