Coyotes Corner: Wedgewood Breaks The Losing Streak Again

It’s officially our fourth edition of Coyotes Corner, and the Arizona Coyotes are officially no longer winless after completing a comeback win over the Seattle Kraken, thanks to Lawson Crouse. This past week saw the Coyotes finish up their six-game road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers and Anaheim Ducks, before topping off the week with a home win against Seattle Saturday night.

Arizona Coyotes Corner Jakob Chychrun & Clayton Keller

The most pleasant surprise for the team this past week has continued to be the performance of NHL rookie goaltender Karel Vejmelka, who has shined against juggernaut opponents, in addition to Lawson Crouse and newly acquired (and former Coyotes) goalie, Scott Wedgewood.

Central Division Standings (As of 11/7/2021)

TeamRecordPoints
Minnesota Wild8-3-016
St. Louis Blues7-2-115
Winnipeg Jets6-3-214
Nashville Predators6-5-113
Dallas Stars4-4-210
Colorado Avalanche4-5-19
Chicago Blackhawks2-9-26
Arizona Coyotes1-10-13

The Week That Was

Coyotes at Flyers (Nov. 2, 3-0 Loss)

The Coyotes kicked off November with the back half of their road trip in Philadelphia, falling short, once again, in the third period of a back-and-forth game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The game, which remained scoreless for the first two periods, was full of chances on both sides before Philadelphia ultimately took it.

What Went Right
After back-to-back close, hard fought matchups against the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, the Coyotes once again fell short of a win, all while proving they could compete with any team in the league. Vejmelka continued to show his dominance in net despite not picking up a win yet this season.

What Went Wrong
Penalties once again continue to plague the Coyotes, as the team went on the penalty kill three times in Tuesday’s game, though they did successfully kill off all three in the process. Arizona continues to struggle in the face off circle as well, and won only 37.7% of their draws against the Flyers.

Jay Beagle Arizona Coyotes
Jay Beagle, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Top Coyotes Performers
Karel Vejmelka

Key Takeaway
Despite losing again in the third period, for the third straight game, the team has recently showed signs of competitiveness.

Coyotes at Ducks (Nov. 5, 3-1 Loss)

Arizona’s inability to get off to a hot start was present in Anaheim after failing behind just 34 seconds in, before eventually going into intermission down by two. Though the Coyotes got their fair share of scoring chances, they were not able to tally a goal until eight seconds remained in the game, and ultimately lost 3-1.

What Went Right
Not a whole lot, but the Coyotes did manage to kill off three of their four penalty kills on the night, in addition to Shayne Gostisbehere getting his first goal of the season, spoiling Stolarz’s shutout.

What Went Wrong
Defense and special teams once again did the Coyotes in. Despite two power-play chances of their own, they couldn’t find the back of the net. In addition, the team once again couldn’t manage to stay out of the box, racking up 40 penalty minutes while allowing a shorthanded goal.

Top Coyotes Performer
Vejmelka and Gostisbehere, who recorded his first goal of the season.

Key Takeaway
Sloppy play and penalties have continued to doom the Coyotes, and this game was no different. Arizona’s inability to get off to a hot start, as well and catch back up when falling behind, was also present once again.

Coyotes vs Kraken (Nov. 7, 5-4 Win)

The Coyotes started Saturday night’s game the same as on Friday, failing behind early after allowing two goals just 59 seconds in. Vejmelka was pulled in relief for the recently acquired Wedgewood, though, and Saturday night’s outcome was the opposite of what fans have seen this season. Arizona rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win 5-4, thanks to Lawson Crouse’s game-winner with 1:05 left.

What Went Right
For the first time this season, the Coyotes were able to come from behind in a game and win. Wedgewood made 27 saves in relief of Vejmelka, while Crouse recorded his first career two-goal game, scoring the game-winner just 13 seconds after Seattle’s Mark Giordano tied it at four. In addition, Arizona scored on its lone power play while killing off both penalties taken, and also won 57.1% off the face offs in the game.

Scott Wedgewood Arizona Coyotes
Arizona Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood addresses the media after a 5-4 win over the Seattle Kraken on Saturday, November 6.
(Patrick Brown / The Hockey Writers)

What Went Wrong
The Coyotes, despite coming from behind to pickup their first win of the 2021-22 campaign, once again found themselves down just a minute into the game, continuing their struggle to establish any semblance of a hot start.

Top Coyotes Performer
Wedgewood, Crouse, and Gostisbehere.

Key Takeaway
Wedgewood, who last played for the Coyotes in the 2017-18 season, was able to end the Coyotes 11-game winless streak for the second time in his career, having last done it against the Flyers in 2017.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming Games
Wednesday, Nov. 10 vs Minnesota, 7 pm
After picking up their first win of the season, the Coyotes get the next three days off to rest and practice before taking on the red-hot Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night. The Wild currently lead the Central Division, thanks to strong play from forward Kirill Kaprizov and goalie Cam Talbot, who’s 7-2-0 this season with a 2.85 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

Friday, Nov. 12 at Chicago, 5:30 pm
The Coyotes will pack up and head back on the road for a three game Central Division road trip starting Friday when they take on the struggling Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are second-to-last in the division, and league, just ahead of Arizona in both. Patrick Kane, who’s recorded 11 points in 12 games, looks to stay hot against Arizona, while Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to bounce back after a disappointing 1-7-0 start to this point in the season.

Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks
Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)


Saturday, Nov. 13 at Nashville, 5 pm
Arizona will travel to Nashville after their game with Chicago to take on the Nashville Predators just 24 hours later, in the second of back-to-back games. Nashville is led by defensemen Roman Josi’s 12 points (four goals, eight assists), and goalie Jussi Saros, who has handled the majority of work in net, posting a 2.34 GAA and .923 SV% in nine games this season.

Quotables

“At some point you say, okay, we’re playing well but it gets heavy mentally, so, I was looking at the players and they put their hearts in it, and they invest themselves in it and they have nothing to show for it. You know, it hurts as a coach when you like your players, and you like their effort, and you like what they do, and they don’t get a reward and they finish the game and they’re hurt. I think it was great today for them to be rewarded. For the players to stay with it and dig in and believe in the process, believe in themselves, trust in each other – that was huge.”
– Coyotes coach André Tourigny on his emotions following the team’s 5-4 win over Seattle.

“It was emotional, lots of excitement and a little bit of a relief. Losing those games was not fun, and a couple of them we thought we were right there. We just couldn’t score. It was nice to get (a win) tonight.”
– Lawson Crouse on the feelings inside the locker room following the team’s 5-4 over Seattle.

On The Hockey Twittersphere

Catch Up On All The News

Coyotes’ Vejmelka Making Case for Olympic Spot
Gostisbehere’s Highs & Lows Remembered Ahead of His Return To Philly
Coyotes Daily Download – Recap, Stats, Injuries & News
Tourigny Earns First Win as Head Coach in Coyotes’ Triumph Over Kraken

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