The Arizona Coyotes either have a big problem, or things are going as planned depending on how you look. Probably not exactly as planned, even if the front office is angling to get a top draft pick, you don’t want to be shut out, but the Coyotes are bad this season by design.
And that was on display last night when the Coyotes fell 3-0 to the New York Islanders, dropping their fifth straight game to open the 2021-22 season.
Things didn’t start terribly for the Coyotes. They had a few good looks and were outshooting the Islanders, but much like Thursday, they could not find the back of the net.
But when you aren’t scoring, you have no margin for error, and a Victor Söderström turnover in the offensive zone led to a Cal Clutterbuck getting a 2-on-1 late in the first, which resulted in the Islanders getting a 1-0 lead.
The second period started with the Coyotes in a 1-0 hole, not ideal but definitely not insurmountable. However, the frustration continued to build, and midway through the period, Liam O’Brien dropped the gloves with Matt Martin.
Unfortunately, the fight couldn’t turn things around for the Desert Dogs, and the score remained 1-0. Things went from bad to worse late in the period when Jay Beagle was called for cross-checking, giving the Islanders their second power play of the game.
The Coyotes were doing a decent job killing the penalty, and it looked like they would have a chance to close out the period. But with less than 10 seconds left, the Islanders gained the Coyotes’ zone, and Brock Nelson redirected a Josh Bailey shot, giving the Islanders a 2-0 lead going into the final period.
Arizona was in another deep hole, and the offense just wasn’t there. The Islanders looked like the better team in the third period, and midway through, they extended their lead once more with an Anthony Beauvillier goal.
That was all she wrote, and the game ended with the Coyotes being shut out for the first time this season. It wasn’t their worst game of the season, Thursday’s game against the Oilers was more lopsided, but it is something we will see a lot of this year.
Rebuilding doesn’t just mean losing all of your games; the team will need to find a way to develop a culture and keep players physically and mentally engaged in the process. The Coyotes are going to need to find some way to respond to yesterday’s loss and get a win.
- Ilya Sorokin - 25 saves on 25 shots
- Brock Nelson - Goal and an assist
- Karel Vejmelka - 20 saves on 22 shots
The Coyotes are back on the road and will play the Florida Panthers tomorrow at 4:00 pm Arizona time.