Monday Morning Howl: Coyotes Struggle, Domingue & Doan Shine

Following their dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26 in Glendale, the Arizona Coyotes packed up and headed out to the East Coast to start a three-game road trip in Boston on Tuesday night. However, things didn’t go well for the team at TD Garden, as they lost their 10th consecutive game to the Bruins by a 4-1 margin.

After their blowout loss in Boston, the Coyotes made the trip to Buffalo on Thursday to take on the Sabres for the second time in five days but struggled defensively as they dropped a 6-3 decision for their second consecutive defeat.

The Coyotes then headed down to North Carolina looking to salvage their road trip against the Hurricanes and were able to pick up a 4-2 victory thanks to outstanding performances by Captain Shane Doan and goaltender Louis Domingue.

The Hurricanes and Coyotes would then travel to Glendale to finish up their home-and-home on Sunday night. In this one, Carolina would avenge their earlier defeat as they shut down Arizona’s offense and escaped Gila River Arena with a 2-1 victory thanks to a late goal from Derek Ryan.

A Short Week

Following their loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Glendale on Sunday night, the Coyotes will have three days off from game action before getting back to work on Thursday against Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa defeated Arizona by the score of 7-4 back on Oct. 18 and will be looking to complete the season sweep on the night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. in Glendale.

The Coyotes will then finish out their short week on Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey defeated Arizona 5-3 earlier in the season and will be looking to complete the season sweep in this one. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. at Gila River Arena.

Domingue Back on Track?

It’s been a rough season for Coyotes backup goaltender Louis Domingue, but could he be on the verge of turning things around? The 25-year-old won his last two starts against Buffalo on Feb. 26 and Carolina on Mar. 3 and stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief of Mike Smith on Feb. 28 in Boston as well.

Due to his improved play, Domingue could earn himself more work as the season winds down; he’s arguably outperformed starter Mike Smith over the past few weeks and, with multiple back-to-backs remaining on the schedule, should get a few more starts down the stretch.

Doan Turns Back the Clock

Coyotes captain Shane Doan has struggled badly to produce on offense this season, but the 40-year-old turned back the clock on Friday night with a vintage performance against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Captain Coyote recorded a goal and two assists on the night to lead his team to a 4-2 victory. Doan’s play has noticeably improved in recent weeks, and he should be able to continue producing offensively as a result.

Pacific Division Roundup

With five weeks remaining in the regular season, the San Jose Sharks hold a five-point lead in the Pacific Division. Here’s how Arizona’s other division rivals fared last week:

Anaheim Ducks (33-22-10, 76 points)

  • Last week: 1-1-0
  • Analysis: The Ducks once again struggled with consistency last week; they picked up a 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Friday but followed that up with a 2-1 loss to the Canucks on Sunday. They’ve alternated regulation wins and losses over their past 10 contests and haven’t won back-to-back games in nearly two months.
  • Player of the week: Jonathan Bernier – 1-1-0 record, 62 saves on 66 shots (.939 SV%)
  • This week: Tue vs NSH, Thu at CHI, Fri at STL, Sun vs WSH

Calgary Flames (36-26-4, 76 points)

  • Last week: 3-0-0
  • Analysis: The Flames were perfect yet again last week and have now won seven consecutive games to move into a tie with the Ducks for third in the division. Brian Elliott appears to have found his game; he’s won six straight starts and has been a huge reason for Calgary’s sudden ascent up the Pacific Division standings.
  • Player of the week: Brian Elliott – 3-0-0 record, 96 saves on 101 shots (.950 SV%)
  • This week: Thu vs MTL, Sat at WPG

Edmonton Oilers (35-22-8, 78 points)

  • Last week: 2-0-0
  • Analysis: The Oilers picked up a 2-1 road victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday to finish their six-game road trip with an even 3-3-0 record, then started an eight-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at Rogers Place.
  • Player of the week: Connor McDavid – Goal, 2 assists, +2
  • This week: Tue vs NYI, Fri vs PIT, Sun vs MTL

Los Angeles Kings (31-28-6, 68 points)

  • Last week: 1-1-2
  • Analysis: The Kings lost three out of four last week, but managed to get two of their losses to overtime to stay in the playoff hunt. They’ll need to get things turned around quickly in order to remain there, however, as they’re just 4-7-2 since Feb. 4.
  • Player of the week: Tanner Pearson – 3 goals
  • This week: Thu vs NSH, Sat vs WSH

San Jose Sharks (38-19-7, 83 points)

  • Last week: 2-1-0
  • Analysis: The Sharks picked up two 3-1 victories against Toronto and Vancouver on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, but dropped a 3-1 decision on Sunday against the Wild. They’re still five points ahead of the Oilers as they look to win their first Pacific Division title since the 2010-11 season.
  • Player of the week: Logan Couture – Goal, 2 assists, +2
  • This week: Mon at WPG, Thu vs WSH, Sat vs NSH, Sun vs DAL

Vancouver Canucks (28-30-7, 63 points)

  • Last week: 2-1-1
  • Analysis: The Canucks picked up five points in four games last week to keep their faint playoffs hope alive. They’re six points behind St. Louis for the #8 seed in the Western Conference.
  • Players of the week: Richard Bachman – 1-0-0 record, 43 saves on 44 shots
  • This week: Tue vs MTL, Thu vs NYI, Sat vs PIT

Although the Coyotes struggled as a team last week, they got some outstanding individual performances from both Doan and Domingue. If they, and others, are able to continue playing well down the stretch, the Coyotes should be able to finish the season with some positive momentum.