Coyotes Corner: Depleted Roster Limping to the Finish Line

In this week’s edition of Coyotes Corner, the Arizona Coyotes continue to limp their way through the final few weeks of the season without star players such as Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse, and Jakob Chychrun. This week they went on the road to face the St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights, in addition to hosting the Vancouver Canucks in what turned out to be a disappointing week for the team.

Arizona Coyotes Corner Jakob Chychrun & Clayton Keller
Jakob Chychrun & Clayton Keller (The Hockey Writers)

This past week included the Coyotes being outscored a staggering 16-3, resulting in a three-game losing streak and a record of 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Their struggles have become magnified since losing point-leader Clayton Keller. Despite the outcomes this past week, there were some bright spots, such as recently acquired goalie Harri Säteri making his Coyotes debut for his first NHL start since the 2017-18 season, and former Coyotes Conor Garland, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Brad Richardson, and Luke Schenn making their return to The Valley with Vancouver.

Central Division Standings (As of 4/12/2022)

Colorado Avalanche52-14-6110
Minnesota Wild44-21-694
St. Louis Blues42-20-1094
Nashville Predators41-26-587
Dallas Stars41-27-486
Winnipeg Jets35-28-1181
Chicago Blackhawks24-37-1159
Arizona Coyotes22-45-549

The Week That Was

Coyotes at St. Louis Blues (Apr. 4, 5-1 Loss)

The Coyotes’ week kicked off with a matchup against the Blues, the third matchup between the clubs this season, with each team picking up one win apiece at the start of the season. After a scoreless first, the Blues came out swinging the rest of the way, accumulating a 4-0 lead before ultimately winning 5-1. Nick Schmaltz picked up his 21st of the season in the game, which was the lone goal for the Coyotes.

What Went Right

Not much went right for the Coyotes in Monday’s loss.

What Went Wrong

The Coyotes were outworked and outplayed in this game. They were outshot 29-22, outhit 22-6, beat out in the face-off circle 30-21, and struggled on the power play and penalty kill. Everything that could’ve gone wrong in this game, seemed to go wrong. Goaltender Karel Vejmelka, who started the team’s past eight games was relieved by Ivan Provestov, who made 24 saves in the loss.

Related: Coyotes’ Keller Has Spectacular Season End In Heartbreak

Top Coyotes Performer

Schmaltz, who recorded his 21st goal of the season.

Key Takeaway

The Coyotes’ struggles at keeping pace when falling behind continue to be prevalent this season.

Coyotes vs. Vancouver Canucks (Apr. 7, 5-1 Loss)

Thursday’s matchup against the Canucks was an emotional one of sorts for some former Coyotes players, and for the second time this week, forward Schmaltz was the lone goal scorer after picking up his 22nd of the season in a 5-1 loss. Säteri, who was making his first start with the Coyotes after being claimed off waivers at the trade deadline picked up 27 saves on 32 shots in the defeat.

What Went Right

Despite the score, the Coyotes, according to the stat sheet, kept things close in terms of shots, hits, and scoring chances, only being outshot by four and outhit by six.

Karel Vejmelka Arizona Coyotes
Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

What Went Wrong

The Coyotes struggled in the faceoff circle, winning only 11 draws, which is a measly 27.5 percent. They struggled on the power play too, going 0-for-3, and also on the penalty kill, allowing Vancouver to convert on both of its power-play opportunities.

Top Coyotes Performers

Schmaltz, who recorded his 22nd goal of the season.

Key Takeaway

The Coyotes continue to play up-and-down while frustration has been settling in as of late.

Coyotes at Vegas Golden Knights (Apr. 9, 6-1 Loss)

The Coyotes concluded their week against a Golden Knights team that is currently fighting for a playoff spot. A goal from Barrett Hayton, his eighth of the season, was all the Coyotes could muster in a 6-1 blowout loss, their third straight. Vejmelka made 33 saves.

What Went Right

The Coyotes successfully killed off three Vegas power plays while outhitting and keeping the shot contest close.

What Went Wrong

The Coyotes’ lack of center and scoring depth, especially with the recent loss of star players such as Keller, Chychrun, and Crouse, has been on full display recently as the team has struggled to remain in games.

Top Coyotes Performers

Hayton, who picked up his eighth goal of the season.

Key Takeaway

The team has been plagued with woes lately, and has struggled to score more than once in a game.

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, Apr. 12 vs. New Jersey, 7:00 PM

The team briefly returns home this week to welcome Jesper Bratt and the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night, looking to break their three-game losing skid. This is the second and final meeting of the season between the two, with the Coyotes winning 4-1 at home back on Jan. 19. The Devils head into the matchup without star forward Jack Hughes, who’s done for the season. Recently acquired forward Nathan Smith, who wrapped up his college career with Minnesota State last Saturday, is expected to make his NHL debut after signing a two-year contract.

Thursday, Apr. 14 at Vancouver, 7:00 PM

The team will hit the road once again to finish up its week, first with the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. This is the final meeting of the season between the two clubs, with Vancouver having won both matchups by a final of 5-1. The Canucks are led by forward Bo Horvat’s 30 goals and J.T. Miller’s 85 points this season. Goaltender Thatcher Demko heads into the matchup with a 30-20-6 record, 2.65 goals-against average (GAA), and .917 save percentage (SV%).

Vancouver Canucks forwards Vasily Podkolzin, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat
Vancouver Canucks forward Vasily Podkolzin, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat celebrate a goal (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Saturday, Apr. 16 at Calgary, 7:00 PM

Arizona concludes its week Saturday against Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk, and the red-hot Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames. This is the final matchup of the season between the two teams, with Calgary having won both games 4-2, first on Feb. 2 and most recently on March 25. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom comes into the matchup sporting a 34-14-8 record, 2.16 GAA, and .925 SV%, in addition to an impressive nine shutouts.


“That was a big-boy game tonight. They were big, fast, on us, they hit, and we had no answer.” 

– Coyotes head coach André Tourigny following a 5-1 loss on April 4 against St. Louis.

We did a lot of god things. If you look at the score, you may think the game went out of our hands quickly. But if you look at the actual pace and chances we had and the possession we had. We’re frustrated, but it’s a step in the right direction.” 

– Coyotes head coach André Tourigny on the pace of the game following a 5-1 loss to Vancouver, the team’s sixth loss in their last eight games.

“That’s one of the best performances from an opponent that we’ve had.”

– Coyotes head coach André Tourigny on Vegas following the team’s 6-1 loss.

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