Coyotes Facing Many Early Challenges


Before the season started, Dave Tippett noted how important it was for the Coyotes to get off to a strong start. So far, things don’t look so good. Phoenix has a record of 1-2-1 with three points through four games. But since only four games out of 82 have been played, it would normally be too early in the season to panic. But in this instance, it’s actually not too early to panic. The injuries that have already occurred to Ray Whitney, Derek Morris, and Ed Jovanovski could be part of the blame on the slow start. But unfortunately, the Coyotes have quite a few more challenges awaiting them.

Shane Doan was just suspended for three games for delivering a hit to the head of Dan Sexton. While Doan disagreed with the ruling, he respected it. Martin Hanzal will also miss the next 1-2 weeks with a lower body injury. As a result, Phoenix has recalled center Andrew Ebbett from the American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Despite Hanzal and Doan’s absences from the next few games, Ray Whitney and Ed Jovanovski are expected to return for Thursday night’s game vs. LA.

A strong start to the season is critical. If the ‘Yotes struggle too much early on, that might keep fans away from the arena, making low attendance an issue again this season. Unless things turn around quickly in Phoenix, the Coyotes might be headed for trouble.