Only one more game.
Tonight the Arizona Coyotes will face off against the Minnesota Wild for the eighth and final time this season. And if the previous five games are any indication, things probably aren’t going to go well.
The Arizona Coyotes have beaten the Minnesota Wild only one time this season. Other than that 5-2 victory, it’s been all Wild, and the Coyotes have rarely come close.
The Coyotes seem to struggle against the Wild, and watching them win against the Blues and then lose against the Wild made it clear why that continues to happen.
Minnesota effectively shut down the Coyotes’ forecheck, limiting chances in the offensive zone. Minnesota doesn’t get a ton of chances either, but they have a deadly counterattack.
Arizona doesn’t have a terrible counterattack, but they don’t have the finish. Look no further than Lawson Crouse and Phil Kessel; both have had several breakaways and partial breakaways this season, but more often than not, they fail to convert.
The Wild’s power play also seems to be especially effective against the Coyotes. Minnesota has a bottom-10 power play, but they have five power play goals in their last two games against the Desert Dogs.
But the Coyotes do still have a chance tonight. They should have plenty of motivation to get a win.
They desperately need points to stay ahead of the Blues, who are just one point behind despite playing three fewer games. The season is also coming to an end, and several players on the Coyotes are playing for their next contract. And we have seen the Coyotes get stellar goaltending from Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta, and Adin Hill, and good goaltending can steal wins.
But given the 1-6-0 record against Minnesota this season, it is hard to have much optimism. At least this will be the last game against the Wild this season.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Alex Goligoski - Goligoski has goals in his last two games and points in his last four. He is a pending UFA and is playing for a contract next season, either with the Coyotes at a reduced rate, or with another team.
Minnesota: Kirill Kaprizov - The future Calder Trophy winner has been having a great season, including in games against the Coyotes. He scored the first goal of Monday’s game and is on a two-game goal streak.
Arizona: Conor Garland (questionable, undisclosed), Tyler Pitlick (lower body), Jordan Gross (lower body)
Minnesota: Nick Bjugstad (upper body), Marco Rossi (upper body)
Tonight's game will be at Gila River Arena at 6:00 pm Arizona time. It will air on Bally Sports AZX and Fox Sports 910 AM.