At times a team can find solidarity on the road. It’s the plane ride, the bus to the hotel, the dorm room feel of staying under the same roof as your team that can bring some guys together. At times, but not every time. These next two games, in which the Coyotes will be facing the suffering Winnipeg Jets who haven’t seen a W since New Years Eve and the St. Louis Blues who’ve won 7 of their last 8, will tell us a lot about our Coyotes going forward.
Two teams on the schedule with two very different streaks; one hot and one cold as the Polar Vortex. Winnipeg after trying to shake things up still hasn’t been able to find a winning formula. Coach Claude Noel has been putting his team on the lifts and trying to get a good look under the body to see what isn’t working but there just doesn’t seem to be a winning solution on his roster. After moving things around again last night against the Blue Jackets his team still fell far short of a win dropping another one 6-3.
The Yotes can beat this team. And if they head into Winnipeg and whoop them on their own ice, maybe that’ll give them enough juice to give the Blues a good game. Something they’ll have to do the very next day because this is going to be the first back to back the Yotes have seen since late December when they dropped two to the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks. Without analyzing what the Jets bring to the table, seeing as how they haven’t been bringing much lately, if the Coyotes can stay fundamentally sound and capitalize on their power plays they’ll steal one from the Jets.
St. Louis is going to be a very different story, however. Handling this team on their own ice would spell great things to come for the Yotes. And yet, you have to wonder if that’s going to be possible. The Blues just lost their first game to the Canucks after seven consecutive wins. They lost that game on the road Friday. They don’t play again until Tuesday when they will be facing the Coyotes with home-ice advantage. The Coyotes will be coming off a game the night before after beating (hopefully) the Winnipeg Jets.
UPDATE: The Winnipeg Jets have fired Head Coach Claude Noel in favor of Paul Maurice, former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, this does change some things. Ultimately it just makes the next two road games for the Coyotes that much harder. Players always play harder when a move like this has been made. However, the opportunity is still there for a win. If they stay defensively sound and win the SOG game, they’ll nab this one from the Jets new coach.
It’s a long shot to take the next two on the road but if they can somehow pull it off it may make the next three home games easier to manage. That’s all I got for now. Leave some comments, let me know what you think. And don’t forget to check out the work of Troy Baker. He’s got a great hockey mind and an insight into the game like few I’ve seen. Alright, as always, until next time, stay ornery Arizona.