Tuesday’s games against the Los Angeles Kings was the tale of two Arizona Coyotes. At home, they lost 4-1 with Derek Stepan scoring the loan Coyotes goal, while on the road they won 5-0 with Conor Garland scoring twice and goals from Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, and Jordan Gross.
Taking the first preseason game into account and you can begin to see a potential issue, inconsistent offense. It’s still too early to say definitively that it will be a problem when the regular season starts, and plenty of the Coyotes are still trying to shake off the rust from the offseason and injuries, but two one-goal games is a bit of a concern.
The Coyotes are getting some offense though, and luckily it is coming from the younger player. Both Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak recently signed long-term, big-money deals and the team is going to rely on them to help carry the offense this season. Garland also has big expectations after scoring 13 goals in only 47 games with the Coyotes last season.
Like the Coyotes’ previous opponent the Kings, the Anaheim Ducks were not great last season. They finished third from the bottom of the Western Conference with 80 points, and they didn’t do much in the offseason. They will be without Corey Perry for the first time since he started in 2005 after he was limited to just 6 goals and 4 assists in 31 games last season.
Their biggest addition of the offseason is new head coach Dallas Eakins, who has been coaching the Ducks’ AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls since 2015. Under Eakins, the Gulls made it to the playoffs three of four seasons. The Ducks are in rebuild mode so Eakins is a great choice for the team, but it is going to take some time for Anaheim to get better.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - After a sophomore slump Clayton Keller has been having a stellar preseason. He had a goal and an assist in the away game against the Los Angeles Kings, one of four Coyotes players to finish with multiple points.
Tonight’s game will be at Gila River Arena at 6:00 pm Arizona time. It will also be on Fox Sports 910 AM.