The 2021-22 season is coming to an end, and it can not come quickly enough. The Arizona Coyotes have been decimated by injuries and have dropped their last two games 5-1.
Arizona is in the first year of a rebuild, so losses are expected. If you are in the #ShameForShane, you are probably excited by the Coyotes’ recent losing streak. And if you are keeping track of the points, the Coyotes are currently in last place, with 49 points in 71 games, two points behind the 31st place Montréal Canadiens.
There are reasons to want the Coyotes to finish strong or have solid individual performances. Many of the Desert Dogs’ veteran players have been sidelined with injuries, allowing players like Jan Jeník, Michael Carcone, Barrett Hayton, and Dysin Mayo to show what they can do. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to see much offense from them, but there are still 11 games left before the season ends, so they have plenty of time.
If tonight’s game is anything like Thursday’s, special teams should play a significant part. Vancouver scored twice with the man advantage and kept the Coyotes from scoring on their power plays. Special teams can be the difference between a win and a loss, especially for a team like the Coyotes, who struggle to score.
The Vegas Golden Knights have had an exciting journey this season. Unfortunately, they saw many of their best players sidelined with injuries, and it looked like they would miss the playoffs. However, that seemed to allow them to go all in, and they acquired an injured Jack Eichel.
But, as the season has started to end, it looks like the Golden Knights may not miss the playoffs. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten games and are four points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the third spot in the Pacific Division and two points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Wild Card spot.
Vegas’ trade deadline was marred with controversy as the team attempted to trade Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks, only to be informed that he had a no-trade list, and the Ducks were on it. The confusion appears to have come about with conversations with the Ottawa Senators, and the trade was eventually canceled, and Dadonov returned to the Golden Knights. Either way, it could prove troublesome for the Golden Knights, who are currently dealing with cap issues and have several players on IR that they would like back.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Nick Ritchie - Ritchie almost scored against the Vancouver Canucks, and he may have changed the game’s result if he hadn’t been offside before the goal. His last goal was March 30th against the San Jose Sharks.
Vegas: Jack Eichel - Eichel had Vegas’ lone goal in their last game against the Canucks, and has 18 points in 24 games this season. He is currently riding a three-game point streak.
Arizona: Lawson Crouse (hand), Christian Fischer (lower body), Jack McBain (ankle), J.J. Moser (upper body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body), Clayton Keller (leg), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Vegas: William Carrier (questionable, lower body), Brett Howden (upper body), Nolan Patrick (undisclosed), Laurent Brossoit (undisclosed), Nicolas Hague (undisclosed), Reilly Smith (knee), Mark Stone (back)
Tonight’s game will be in Vegas at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and 620 AM.