Coyotes Corner: Team Splits Four Game Week

In this week’s edition of Coyotes Corner, the Arizona Coyotes played host to the Montreal Canadiens in Round 1 of the Lottery Bowl before hitting the road for a trip to the New York Metropolitan area to face-off against the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers.

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

This past week was full of crazy for the Coyotes, including registering three goals on seven shots in the second period against the Devils, dominant back-to-back team wins, and blowing a 3-1 lead over the Rangers in the second period.

Central Division Standings (As of 1/23/2022)

Colorado Avalanche28-8-359
Nashville Predators26-14-355
St. Louis Blues24-11-553
Minnesota Wild24-10-351
Dallas Stars20-16-242
Winnipeg Jets17-14-741
Chicago Blackhawks15-19-737
Arizona Coyotes10-26-424

The Week That Was

Coyotes vs Montreal (Jan. 17, 5-2 Win)

The Coyotes kicked off their week against the Montreal Canadiens in Round 1 of the Lottery Bowl. Two goals, eight minutes in helped the Coyotes take the early momentum, thanks to Nick Schmaltz, Johan Larsson, Travis Boyd, Clayton Keller, and rookie Janis Moser, in addition to 24 saves from Arizona goaltender Karel Vejmelka, helped backstop Arizona to a dominant 5-2 win.

Related: Coyotes’ Improved Play Is Coming From Tourigny’s New System

What Went Right
The Coyotes responded well after a 5-0 loss two nights prior against Colorado with a complete, full 60-minute performance. The team was able to maintain a lead, while continually applying pressure. Arizona’s bottom-line role players continue to be a huge asset for the team, with guys like Larsson and Boyd continuing to find the score sheet. Goaltender Vejmelka responded well in a bounce-back performance.

What Went Wrong
Penalties and the penalty kill once again continue to plague the Coyotes, as the team went on the penalty kill three times in Monday’s game, allowing a power-play goal in the process. The team failed to generate any success on five power-play opportunities of their own.

Top Coyotes Performers
Schmaltz, who recorded his second goal of the season in addition to Boyd, Larsson, and goalie Vejmelka.

Key Takeaway
Despite struggling on the power play and penalty kill, the Coyotes played well offensively, generated an early lead, and applied continued pressure throughout the entire game.

Coyotes at New Jersey (Jan. 19, 4-1 Win)

After falling behind 1-0 on a Nico Hischer power-play goal, and recording one total shot on goal in the first period, the Coyotes recorded three goals on seven shots in the middle frame. Dysin Mayo, Boyd, and Lawson Crouse all scored to cap off a 4-1 win for the team’s second straight win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night. The Coyotes came into the contest with positive news, as defenseman Jakob Chychrun played for the first time since Dec. 10.

What Went Right
For the second straight game, the Coyotes found a way to win despite being heavily outshot, 36-17. Forward Boyd registered 10 goals in a season for the first time in his NHL career, a new high. Vejmelka weathered the storm, making 35 saves in the win while forward Crouse continues to have a breakout season. The team also managed to have a positive second period, a rarity of sorts this season.

Shayne Gostisbehere Arizona Coyotes
Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

What Went Wrong
The Coyotes continue to struggle to find a way to get shots on net, only registering one in the first, with under a minute left. The penalty kill continues to struggle, allowing a goal on two New Jersey power-play opportunities.

Top Coyotes Performers
Crouse, who’s continuing to have a breakout season, and Boyd, who notched a new career high in goals scored in a season. Vejmelka showed strong play, helping backstop the team to a win, earning his sixth win of the season.

Key Takeaway
Despite the win, the Coyotes continue to struggle on the penalty kill and to find a way to get shots on net in the process.

Coyotes at New York Islanders (Jan. 21, 4-0 Loss)

After losing goalie Scott Wedgewood, and many others, to COVID-19 protocol, the team was happy to have the netminder back in the crease for a matchup with the New York Islanders. A two-goal, first-period deficit proved to be too much for the team to handle, as forward Brock Nelson picked up two goals in a 4-0 Coyotes loss. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin picked up a shutout in the win.

What Went Right
Not much went right for the team in the loss, other than killing off two penalties and winning 54.3 percent of the faceoffs.

What Went Wrong
The Coyotes can’t seem to figure out how to score against the Islanders, as they were shut out for the second time this season, losing the season series 2-0. Wedgewood was left out to dry in his return, despite posting 31 saves.

Top Coyotes Performers
Wedgewood, who made 31 saves.

Key Takeaway
The Coyotes’ penalty-kill unit successfully killed off two New York power plays, but Arizona failed to register a goal against the Islanders this season.

Coyotes at New York Rangers (Jan. 22, 7-3 Loss)

An early 3-1 start against the red-hot New York Rangers proved to be a mirage, as the Coyotes allowed four second-period goals in a seven-minute span, further showcasing the team’s second-period woes this season, as the Rangers scored six unanswered in a 7-3 loss. Clayton Keller recorded his 15th goal of the season in the loss, while Rangers forward Chris Kreider recorded a hat trick in the win.

What Went Right
The Coyotes started the game off right, recording two goals in the first six minutes. Bottom-six guys Liam O’Brien and Andrew Ladd each found the net, in addition to Keller, before collapsing midway through the second period. The team dominated in the faceoff circle as well, winning 62 percent of draws.

What Went Wrong
The Coyotes’ second-period collapse continues to be on full display this season, as the team allowed four goals in the frame after going up 3-1. Penalties once again continue to plague them, as the team went on the penalty kill four times in Saturday’s game, allowing two goals. The team also struggled on the power play, going 0-for-5, and also allowed a shorthanded goal to Kreider.

Top Coyotes Performers
Keller, who recorded his 15th goal of the season, in 40 games.

Key Takeaway
Despite the loss, Keller continues to take a leadership role for the team, as well as taking the next step in his game.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming Games
Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Pittsburgh, 5:00 PM
The Coyotes return to action this Tuesday as they conclude their East Coast road trip against Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Guentzel leads the team with 40 points, and goalie Tristian Jarry has registered a 22-7-4 record with three shutouts.

Friday, Jan. 28 vs Boston, 7:00 PM
The team returns home on Friday to Gila River Arena to welcome Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins. The Bruins are led by Marchand’s 20 goals, 24 assists, and 44 points and Linus Ullmark’s 14-5-0 record. The Bruins come into the matchup with a record of 8-2-0 in their past 10 games.

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Saturday, Jan. 29 vs Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Arizona closes out the upcoming weekend with a matchup Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres, looking to avenge a 2-1 shootout loss in the team’s first meeting back on Oct. 16 in Buffalo. The Sabres, who are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, will be led into Arizona by forward Tage Thompson’s 28 points, Jeff Skinner’s 16 goals, and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s 21 assists.


“It took a bit at the start to get used to the new systems, and stuff like that, but I think the last 20 games or so you can really see our team starting to play better and settle into our system better.”
– Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz after the team’s win over the Canadiens earlier this week.

He had a little bit of a slow start, like the team, and then he leads the play, he carries on, he goes in the corner, he wins his battles, even though he’s only just five — well I don’t even know how tall he is — but he’s pretty small.”
– Coyotes forward Antoine Roussel on teammate Clayton Keller’s leadership this season.

“We just had a little more urgency. We were skating better.”
– Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun on the difference between the Coyotes’ first and second periods.

On the Hockey Twittersphere

Catch Up on All the News

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