Arizona Coyotes’ Woes Continue, Kids Provide Spark

Oct 20, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Arizona Coyotes goalie Justin Peters (40) stops a shot from Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Arizona Coyotes goalie Justin Peters (40) stops a shot from Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Coyotes are bleeding goals, but a few of the kids are providing a ray of sunshine to an otherwise shaky start to 2016-17.

As opening weeks go, the Arizona Coyotes’ haven’t exactly had one you would write home to mom about.

They’ve given up an average of five goals per game in their three contests.

That’s a sure recipe for disaster.

A few of the veterans brought in by General Manager John Chayka have yet to make their debut, or yet to make a positive impact.

Others have had an impact, it’s just been the kind many fans wish the team would avoid.

Last night on the Coyotes broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona, color analyst Tyson Nash referred to Ryan White as a “spark plug” that was presumably brought to the desert to mix it up and play with an edge to his game.

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His rough-housing sparked the Montreal Canadiens to their third goal after he challenged nearly everyone on the ice to a brawl and taking a two penalties for roughing.

It’s not providing a spark when you hurt your team by taking dumb penalties.

That’s just a bad player hurting his team.

White is the same kind of player Don Maloney brought in with Steve Downie last year, and the results are the same.


Meanwhile, rookie Lawson Crouse – presumably part of the future here in the desert – sat in the stands.

With Crouse’s size, he can easily provide the kind of agitation (and deterrence) the Coyotes covet. He’s also a former first round draft pick who theoretically has plenty of room to grow, unlike White who is an eight-year veteran.

We can see a similar issue on the blue-line.

Kevin Connauton was put in the lineup fresh off of recovery from a lower-body injury over rookie Jakob Chychrun.

The same Jakob Chychrun who has shown that perhaps he should be the most hyped prospect on the Arizona roster, not Dylan Strome or Christian Dvorak.

Connauton was paired up with Jamie McBain. It didn’t go well.

Chychrun drew into the lineup last night, scored his first NHL goal, and was one of the few bright spots on the ice.

Laurent Dauphin was another.

Dauphin has improved from game to game and his hard work was rewarded with a shorthanded goal last night.

Veterans are important to a team’s stability. They provide consistency and an example to the young players on the team.

Right now, many of the Coyotes’ veterans aren’t pulling their weight.

The Arizona Coyotes brain trust cannot be afraid to play the kids over those vets.

This team isn’t winning the Stanley Cup in 2016-17. Right now it doesn’t even look like a Wild Card berth would be a realistic expectation.

The kids need to get reps and grow so that next season and beyond the team can take a real leap, instead of a tentative one.

This team isn’t giving up five goals per game because they iced five rookies.

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They are under-performing (or perhaps, sadly, performing properly) because there are players on the roster who aren’t getting the job done, or worse, are actively making the job harder.

Arizona Coyotes News and Links

Coyotes’ Inconsistent Play Costs Them In Montreal, 5-2 — Howlin’ Hockey

After another night of struggles in their own end, the Arizona Coyotes fell 5-2 to the Montreal Canadiens.

Arizona Coyotes continue to bleed goals in 5-2 loss to Montreal Canadiens — Five For Howling

The Arizona Coyotes can’t keep the puck out of their own net right now.

Arizona Coyotes’ early-season woes continue with loss to Montreal Canadiens — AZCentral

The early-season arrival of adversity hasn’t exactly flattered the Coyotes, who are winless since No. 1 goalie Mike Smith went down with what looks like a left knee injury.

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