The Arizona Coyotes are back playing meaningful hockey. Thanks to the All-Star Game the Coyotes haven’t played since Saturday, January 18th. The break may have come at the perfect time as the Coyotes lost their last two games to divisional rivals and the team desperately needed a break and a reset.
Going into the All-Star break the Coyotes squandered a golden opportunity. They played the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, two teams that are currently ahead of them in the stands. They lost both games by a combined score of 10-4.
The Coyotes dug themselves a deep hole against the Oilers. Less than halfway through the game the Coyotes were already down 5-0. The Coyotes would get an even-strength goal from Taylor Hall and power play goals from Christian Dvorak and Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the second and third periods, but it is tough to come back from a five-goal deficit.
In the final stretch, the Coyotes are going to need to be more consistent. Offense, defense, goaltending, and special teams all need to be better. As the Coyotes are competing for a playoff spot the games are just going to get harder and harder.
Arizona is currently fourth in the Pacific Division behind the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers. The Pacific Division is still really tight but teams are starting to separate. Vancouver has played one fewer game than the Coyotes and is currently three points ahead. Calgary, on the other hand, has played as many games as the Coyotes but has more points.
This season the California teams are terrible, and the Anaheim Ducks are no exception. With 43 points they are eight points behind the lowest team in the Central Division, yet they are two points above the worst team in the Pacific.
The Ducks Have not had a good month of January. They have won only three games, a regulation win against the Predators, a shootout win against the Predators, and an overtime win against the Hurricanes.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Conor Garland - Garland had two assists against the Oilers and is in the middle of a career season. He has six points in his last four games, and he was the only Coyotes player to have multiple points against the Oilers in their last game.
Anaheim: Ryan Getzlaf - Getzlaf has three points in his last three games, although he was held pointless in the Ducks last game against the Sharks. He leads the Ducks with 33 points.
Arizona: Jordan Oesterle (questionable, lower body), Darcy Kuemper (questionable, lower body), Barrett Hayton (shoulder), Brad Richardson (questionable, lower body)
Anaheim: Jakob Silfverberg (personal), Ryan Kesler (hip), Patrick Eaves (illness)
Tonight’s game will be at 8:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports 910 AM.