The Arizona Coyotes’ ridiculous road trip is almost over, and the end could not come sooner. Arizona has been playing surprisingly well, considering the roster and the time on the road, but they could definitely use some time at home to work on some things.
One thing that definitely could use more focus is not giving up a 3-1 lead with four unanswered goals.
The Coyotes’ loss to the Los Angeles Kings was not surprising. And, like many games this season, penalties played a part.
Los Angeles had four power plays in the Yotes’ last game, and they converted on two. They tied the game 36 seconds after the Coyotes struck first on the power play, and they started their comeback in the second period with a power play goal.
But there were bright spots in the Coyotes’ last game. Christian Fischer scored the Coyotes’ third short-handed goal to give the Coyotes an early lead, and both Matias Maccelli and Nick Bjugstad scored in the second period.
The Coyotes often struggle to score the third goal, so seeing them get that early in the second was great. They may have a chance tonight if they can do more of that and take fewer penalties.
After shipping the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft to the Coyotes in exchange for Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, things have not gone well for the Canucks. They are currently sixth in the Pacific Division, ahead of only the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.
Vancouver comes into tonight’s game, having dropped their last two games 5-1. They have given up five in three of their past four games, falling to the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, and Vegas Golden Golden Knights.
Unfortunately, things aren’t much better for the two players the Coyotes sent over. Conor Garland is struggling 5-on-5, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson is struggling in general. However, defenseman OEL does have a respectable goal and ten assists in 24 games, while forward Conor Garland has been limited to just three goals and seven assists in 23.
Vancouver has been getting most of their offense from four players this season. Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, and Andrei Kuzmenko all have 11 goals, with Bo Horvat leading the team with 17. And while that is impressive, it’s a significant drop from there
But while the Canucks do a decent job at scoring goals, they aren’t great at preventing them. The 92 goals they have given up is the third-most in the NHL behind the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks are fourth, which is a good look at how the Pacific Division is doing.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Dylan Guenther - Guenther had two assists against the Kings, his second multi-point game in the past three. Hopefully, we will get a good game out of the player that the Canucks could have drafted tonight.
Vancouver: Dakota Joshua - Joshua had the Canucks’ lone goal in their last matchup, his fourth of the season. He isn’t the flashiest name on the team, but he has already set a new career-high this season with four goals in 23 games.
Arizona: Lawson Crouse (questionable, illness), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)
Vancouver: Thatcher Demko (undisclosed), Jack Studnicka (lower body), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (undisclosed), Travis Dermott (concussion)
Tonight’s game is another late one with an 8 pm start time. It will air on SN1 City, SNP, Bally Sports Arizona, and 98.7FM.