Arizona Coyotes Seek Consistency After 5-5-1 Start

After a great start of 3-0, the Arizona Coyotes have become inconsistent with a 2-5-1 record.

Much can be said about the exceptional start to the season, with three straight wins, but in the NHL consistency reins. Going on a five game road trip didn’t help the team maintain their good start, but they did manage five points on a tough journey to the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada.

More From Howlin’ Hockey -> Arizona Coyotes Domi-Duclair Impact-Grigsby Edition

Then… not sure what happened when they came home, and had a couple days off to recover, only to get beat up badly in the first period by a better than expected Vancouver Canucks team on 10-30-15. The Arizona Coyotes made a valiant effort to try to recover in that game, but were denied. What can be a worrisome trend is that Mike Smith was pulled after letting in two goals on three shots.

This is too reminiscent of last season’s putrid goaltending, and if this team wants to improve from that performance of last season (as they say they do) something has to change. Smith has allowed 25 goals on 169 shots for a meager .852 save percentage in his last seven games. So, reason for concern exists… panic not yet.

Anders Lindback came in and tried to hold the Canucks so the Coyotes could make a comeback, but they fell just short, losing 4-3.

What it showed on the positive side, was that this team can come back, after starting poorly. Max Domi continued his torrid start as a NHL forward with another goal, and Steve Downie scored his first goal as a Coyotes as well.

 

Antione Vermette returned after missing three games to a lower-body injury, and scored his first two points this season, with two assists. He told NHL.com Jerry Brown:

“It’s tough in this league when you trial by three early, you put yourself in a tough spot. You can say we battled, but that’s not the way you want to start a game.”

 Domi is beginning to show the league that he’s for real, and what is impressive is his back-hand shot. He was able to put back a Mikkel Boedker shot in the slot with a nifty backhand sweeper shot which eluded the Canucks net-minder Richard Bachman.

Tobias Rieder continued to impress as well with his fourth goal with 2:21 remaining after Head Coach Dave Tippett pulled Lindback in favor of an additional attacker. In the end, it was too little too late, and hopefully this trend won’t continue, especially on home ice where the Yotes are 1-3.

It must have been on the Coyotes mind that the Canucks would be tired, playing the night before in Dallas and losing in overtime. According to Tyler Gaudet who told NHL.com Jerry Brown:

“In the second period and third periods, we played really well. But we’ve got to play three periods like that. We took it too lightly thinking that they played the night before. We’ve got to be ready and have a better start than that.”

    

The Arizona Coyotes must attempt to generate some consistency when they play the Colorado Avalanche next Thursday, followed by the tough New York Rangers on Saturday. A couple of home wins can do quite a bit for the team’s confidence, and if Smith can get wins in both of those games, he will start to show his worth a bit more… as in $5.6 million dollars of worth.