Well, that sucked.
The Arizona Coyotes came off of an inspiring win over the Seattle Kraken, oozing with momentum, and then just completely collapsed by allowing two goals in the first period on route to a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
It didn’t take long for the Wild to get on the board, as just 4:22 into the period we saw Joel Eriksson Ek with a filthy snipe on the powerplay. Then, just a couple of minutes later, Jon Merrill wired one from the point through traffic on a shot that was re-directed by Marcus Foligno to put the Wild up 2-0.
Shayne Gostisbehere managed to send Andrew Ladd off and away for a breakaway in which he managed to score his first home goal since the 2019-20 season.
The second period is when things begin to take a turn for the worse. Kevin Fiala did THAT and managed to backhand the puck out of mid-air and score. Not a great goal for Karel Vejmelka to allow at all, probably the first goal of the game that was really his fault.
Literally a minute after that, Rem Pitlick had a fantastic zone entry and fed the puck right to Dmitry Kulikov in the slot, who outwaited Vejmelka before burying it to put the Wild up 4-1.
At the end of the second period, the Wild were just having fun. On the powerplay, Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello kept passing the puck back and forth behind the net until Kaprizov found an opening on the post that Vejmelka left and tucked it in to put the Wild up 5-1.
All-in-all, the Coyotes just got beat up in the second period. The shots were 11-5 in that 20-minute span, and the Wild scored four goals.
The Coyotes went with Scott Wedgewood in the third period, and you can’t really blame them with the way Vejmelka performed. He saved just 17 of 22 shots, posting a .773 SV% and -3.21 goals saved above expected. It was not a great night for the Desert Dogs. Wedgewood saved all eight shots he faced in the third period and posted a 0.60 goals saved above expected.
The Wild kind of let off of the gas in the third period and just tried to defend. Shayne Gostisbehere had a nice goal in the slot that was created because of the hard work from Travis Boyd on the puck battle.
Now you see him, now you don't! pic.twitter.com/JdFKSislzm— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 11, 2021
Boyd never gave up, got the puck loose, and back in front of the net to Clayton Keller, who handed it over to Gostisbehere in the slot for the goal.
It’s hard to name too many positives for the Coyotes. They started to put some pressure on the Wild late in the third period, but at that point, it was just too late. I really enjoyed the hustle we saw from Lawson Crouse. He had a good chance late in the game but couldn’t bury it, and you could tell he just wanted one near the end as he kept crashing towards the net.
You’ve honestly got to feel bad for Jay Beagle too. He had a pretty decent game, however, his wingers in Antoine Roussel and Dmitrij Jaškin struggled so heavily that it made him look pretty invisible.
Speaking of invisible, Phil Kessel also struggled quite a bit. He had just 0.13 expected goals for, the fourth-worst on the entire team. When he was on the ice, he wasn’t looking to create anything, and defensively he wasn’t good either. It may be in the Coyotes’ best interest to move him as soon as possible, as he doesn’t really look like he wants to be in Arizona anymore.
With this loss, the Coyotes have fallen to 1-11-1 on the season, and on their path to Shane Wright.
- Kevin Fiala - 1 goal, 2 assists
- Shayne Gostisbehere - 1 goal, 1 assist
- Jared Spurgeon - 2 assists
The Coyotes’ next game will be on Friday night in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks, who are currently 3-9-2 on the season. That one should be a fun, high-scoring game.