After dropping the last three and moving out of a playoff spot the Coyotes are desperate for a win tonight against the Avalanche.
If the Arizona Coyotes can finish the next week and a half within a few points of the St. Louis Blues, they have a very real shot at making the playoffs. And to do that, they are going to need to steal some points against some better teams.
And after dropping their last two against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Coyotes need to start that tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.
Arizona was better yesterday afternoon than they were last Friday, but they still weren’t good enough.
Defensively they were a better team, which allowed Adin Hill to make the chance to make the saves he needed to make. They were also good on the penalty kill, killing both Vegas power plays.
Unfortunately, the offense took another night off.
The Coyotes were shut out again and weren’t able to do much in the offensive zone. They had problems entering the offensive zone, and when they got in, they were mostly one and done, with Vegas easily taking possession and clearing the zone.
Arizona wasn’t able to get much from offensive zone draws either. Vegas won 65% of the faceoffs, and since they were so good at clearing the zone, the Coyotes weren’t able to do much.
The Coyotes’ transition game did show a bit of flair, and they had a few good looks on the breakaway. It wasn’t much and didn’t happen nearly enough, but that, along with the defense, may be something to build off.
While the Coyotes were giving up leads against the Los Angeles Kings and losing the Golden Knights, the Avalanche have spent the past two weeks just racking up points.
They are 5-1-0 since they last played the Coyotes, with their one loss being an 8-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Colorado didn’t have the toughest schedule, they played the St. Louis Blues before they started their comeback, and their last two games were against the Anaheim Ducks.
Other than tonight, the Coyotes are more than happy to let the Avalanche run wild against the other teams in the West Division. They play the Blues four times in the next two, and it would be nice if the Avalanche could do the Coyotes a favor in those games.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Clayton Keller – Keller has been one of the Coyotes forwards in the second half of the season, and has come close a number of times. He needs some finish on his line, but he has been better at showing up for every game.
Colorado: Gabriel Landeskog – Landeskog had a goal and two assists in the Avalanche’s last game and had two goals and an assist the last time the Coyotes played the Avalanche.
Arizona: Jordan Gross (questionable, lower body), Antti Raanta (undisclosed), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
Colorado: Matt Calvert (undisclosed), Conor Timmins (upper body), Logan O’Connor (lower body), Bowen Byram (head), Dennis Gilbert (face), Erik Johnson (upper body), Pavel Francouz (lower body)
Tonight’s game will be at 6:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and on Fox Sports 910 AM.
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