The Arizona Coyotes suffered their biggest loss of the season last night, falling 9-1 to the Calgary Flames at home. It was another tough loss for the Desert Dogs, who are limping to the end of their season injured and gassed. But with only two weeks left, it will hopefully be over soon.
Things started pretty well for the Coyotes. They managed to score on their first shot when Nick Ritchie went hard to the net and redirected a shot from Jay Beagle past Jacob Markstrom to give the Yotes an early 1-0 lead.
Jack McBain had a secondary assist on the goal, his first career NHL point.
The Coyotes were able to keep up the pressure after scoring, but they couldn’t convert again. If the Coyotes had managed to score again early, maybe they could have taken control of the game. But Arizona’s grip started to slip, and by the end of the period, the Calgary Flames’ comeback was in full swing.
In a reversal of the first period, the Calgary Flames tied this up in the opening minute of the second period, with Dillon Dube getting his 12th of the season. Then, 38 seconds later, the Flames took the lead with Andrew Mangiapane getting his 32nd of the season.
That was just the start of a massive second-period collapse that would see Matthew Tkachuk, Blake Coleman, and Elias Lindholm score goals and Dillon Dube get his second of the night. André Tourigny eventually pulled Harri Säteri in the second period, but Karel Vejmelka also gave up two goals and was back on the bench for the third period.
Things weren’t much better for the Coyotes in the third period. Johnny Gaudreau scored twice in the opening night minutes, and Matthew Tkachuk got his second of the night just over five minutes into the final frame. A 1-0 Coyotes lead quickly turned into a 9-1 Flames win.
Arizona is struggling right now, but they didn’t plan for things to be this bad. The team is missing three of their top players, Lawson Crouse, Clayton Keller, and Jakob Chychrun, who all played significant minutes for the Desert Dogs. They not only were responsible for a large piece of the Coyotes’ offense, but they also played tough minutes against opponents’ top lines, and they were responsible for keeping their opponents off the board.
The team’s most significant move that contributed to the Coyotes’ recent play was sending Scott Wedgewood to the Dallas Stars. Karel Vejmelka has struggled in a starting role and seems like he could use a chance to sit a few games, work with the coaching staff and reset. Unfortunately, playing Säteri right now is throwing him to the wolves, so Vejmelka will probably still play most of the Coyotes’ seven remaining games.
The Coyotes desperately need someone, anyone, to step up and show what they can do. It’s tough, the games don’t mean anything, and you probably aren’t going to win, but the players are still playing for future contracts or their pride.
- Johnny Gaudreau - 2 goals and 2 assists
- Matthew Tkachuk - 2 goals and 2 assists
- Elias Lindholm - 1 goal and 2 assists
On Monday, the Arizona Coyotes are back home when they face off against the Carolina Hurricanes to start their last multi-game homestand.