The Arizona Coyotes pulled off an upset victory over a Central Division rival on Friday, and they look to do it again this afternoon. This afternoon, the Coyotes will host the Winnipeg Jets less than two days after beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1.
Arizona did a good job against the Golden Knights and has plenty to build off of today. They got solid goaltending and timely offense and managed to pull out a win after scoring three unanswered goals.
But not everything went well in their last outing. The Coyotes had another slow start, a common occurrence as of late. For the third straight game, the Coyotes were held scoreless through twenty minutes. Luckily, the Coyotes have been finding ways to keep their opponents from scoring, and they weren’t crazy outshot, which is an improvement.
Arizona needs to find a way to start strong and play a full sixty-minute game. They can’t afford to let their opponents outshoot them all game and rely on their goaltender to keep them in it until their offense wakes up. Especially against a team like the Jets, who are desperate for any points they can get.
Since these two teams last met, Winnipeg has tumbled out of a playoff spot, and this month hasn’t helped them. They come into tonight’s game riding a four-game losing streak and are sixth in the Central Division.
And it’s not hard to see why. Like the Coyoteś’last opponents, the Jets are pretty middle of the pack team that is trending down.
The Jets had a great start in their last game, going up 3-0 in the first period. They scored early and often, including a short-handed goal from Adam Lowry. But they couldn’t keep up the pressure, and the Colorado Avalanche scored six unanswered goals in the final forty minutes, leading to a 6-3 win.
Though better than the Coyotes, the Jets are not great. They are 21st in goals scored and 15th in goals allowed, and special teams aren’t much better. Their power play is ranked 15th, and their penalty kill is 23rd.
The numbers may not be scary, but the Coyotes are towards the bottom in all categories, so it’s not like they will have an advantage going into tonight’s game.
Despite the relatively weak offense, the Jets have some heavy hitters. Pierre-Luc Dubois already has 21 goals, and Kyle Connor has somehow reached 30 goals!
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Schmaltz - Schmaltz has been much better since the year turned over and had two goals on Friday against the Golden Knights. He comes into tonight’s game riding a three-game point streak with six points.
Winnipeg: Kyle Connor - The 25-year-old Michigan native leads the Jets with 30 goals and scored in the Jets’ last game. He comes into tonight’s game riding a two-game point streak.
Arizona: Andrew Ladd (lower body), Johan Larsson (hernia), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Winnipeg: CJ Suess (questionable, hand), Andrew Copp (upper body), Kristian Reichel (foot), Cole Perfetti (upper body), Dylan Samberg (upper body), Bryan Little (ear), Nikolaj Ehlers (knee)
Today’s game will be a matinee matchup at 2:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 620 AM.