Last night, the Arizona Coyotes shocked the hockey world by ending the Colorado Avalanche’s ten-game winning streak with a 3-2 win in the shootout. It was a tough matchup that saw the Coyotes come back twice to tie the game, but it showed that the Yotes are not a team that will go down lightly.
The Coyotes still can’t play a full sixty minutes yet, but they do a good job not giving up. Of course, they will frequently dig themselves a hole, but sometimes they find a way to dig themselves out like last night.
Despite the win, Arizona definitely needs to make a few adjustments. Colorado had four power plays last night, and the Coyotes played one of their less disciplined games of the season. Thankfully, the penalty kill was perfect, but giving a team with multiple offensive weapons a 5-on-3 power play is not a recipe for long-term success.
Arizona could also use a more consistent power play, although that may just be out of reach. The Coyotes had three power plays against the Avalanche and failed to convert once. A power play goal can be the great equalizer for a team like the Coyotes that struggles to convert 5-on-5, but we are halfway through the season, so it probably shouldn’t hope for much more than not being the worst in the NHL.
Thankfully, the Coyotes have been getting solid goaltending. Scott Wedgewood was good last night and did everything he could to keep the team in the game. Tonight, we should get a chance to see Karel Vejmelka, who has proved to be a stellar pickup for the Coyotes despite some off games.
Like the Coyotes’ last opponents, the Calgary Flames come into tonight’s game on a win streak, although one far less impressive. They have won their previous two games, beating the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 in overtime and the Dallas Stars 4-3 last night.
Calgary is an interesting team, one that should not be taken lightly. They currently have a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference and are fourth in the Pacific Division. But despite playing in five fewer games than the third-place Los Angeles, they are only three points back.
The Flames have a pretty solid recipe for success this season. They score an average amount of goals (currently tied for 16th with 130 goals) and don’t give up a lot (third in the NHL with 102).
Calgary already has two 20 goal-scorers coming into tonight’s game, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. Tkachuk is pretty well known, but Mangiapane has been a mainstay since the 2019-20 season and has been steadily improving.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller - Keller had an assist on Alex Galchenyuk’s goal and continues his point-streak is currently at five games.
Calgary: Elias Lindholm - Lindholm has three assists in his past two games and has been a big part of the Flames’ offense. He is currently fourth in goals scored and third in points.
Arizona: Johan Larsson (hernia), Barrett Hayton (hand), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Carter Hutton (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Calgary: Tyler Pitlick (undisclosed)
Tonight’s game will be at Gila River Arena at 7:30 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona, SN360, SNW, and 620 AM.