Arizona Coyotes Drop Third Straight Against Isles, 3-2

Oct 21, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) reaches for a save during the second period against New York Islanders at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) reaches for a save during the second period against New York Islanders at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

After beginning their six-game road trip with two losses, the Arizona Coyotes hoped to get on track against the Islanders.

Friday night saw a better effort from the Arizona Coyotes, but they still fell prey to the same mistakes.

2. 121. 3. 106. Final

The problems began with a very shaky first period from goaltender Louis Domingue.

After a mix-up between Luke Schenn and Jakob Chychrun following a turnover, Chychrun cleared the crease and gave Domingue a solid look at the shot coming from noted sniper Dennis Seidenberg (40 goals in 763 games).

It didn’t matter as he beat Louis cleanly, giving the Isles a 1-0 first period lead.

Later in the first period, Johnny Boychuk blew by both Connor Murphy and Oliver Ekman-Larsson and went in on Domingue all alone.

Domingue denied the backhander, but failed to find the puck which was sitting right in front of him.

Ryan Strome sent it five-hole to put the Coyotes in a 2-0 hole.

The Yotes would get one back less than a minute later when Brad Richardson beat Jaroslav Halak with a sweet snipe. 2-1.

Just thirteen seconds later, Chychrun kept the puck in the zone and fired it on net. Radim Vrbata redirected the shot past Halak to tie the game at 2-2. This Chychrun kid, though.

The game remained tied through the second period and into the third when Lawson Crouse drew a high-sticking penalty and put the Yotes on the power play.

After the Islanders earned a shorthanded offensive zone draw, Johnny Boychuk beat Domingue cleanly for the shortie to give the Isles a 3-2 win.

Arizona Coyotes Player of the Game

I’ll give this to Jakob Chychrun, who continues to defy expectations and prove he belongs at the NHL level…arguably more so than his highly touted counterparts Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak.

He’s tied for second on the team with three points but is still averaging the least amount of ice time of any defender who has played more than one game.

That’s probably about right for him even as well as he has played, especially considering he’s sharing a side with OEL and Alex Goligoski.

The View From The 200 Level

There is lots of talk about this being “just four games” and it’s “hard to expect the team to be great with five rookies on the roster”.

The issue there is two-fold.

Regarding the rookies, by and large they’ve performed decently, and the Yotes have gotten strong performances from Laurent Dauphin and Chych.

Dvo and Strome haven’t been putting up points, but neither has any other scorer on the team. They’ve been serviceable, showed a flash of brilliance or two per game, and haven’t been the difference in the Coyotes’ fortunes win or lose.

As to the argument that “it’s just four games”, that’s an argument I would buy…if this team did not look exactly like the team we saw play 82 games last season.

There are many new faces on this roster, but all of the outcomes are still the same.

We see the same odd-man rushes given up defensively. An inability to possess and maintain the puck in the offensive zone. Up-and-down goaltending which you cannot rely on from period to period.

Shorthanded goals. Blown coverages. A lack of willingness to shoot.

Last season, when we didn’t get goals from Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, there was a good chance it was going to be a bad night. The same thing is repeating itself this season.

Ten other forwards dress each night, along with six defensemen.

The Arizona Coyotes do need more from Domi and Duke, but the lack of consistent production from everyone else involved on the offensive side hasn’t changed, even if the lineup and year has.

Our leading scorers are Brad Richardson and Jordan Martinook, both hard-working players but hardly world-beaters in the goal and assist departments.

This season’s team is no different than 2015-16’s version.

Lots of turnover, but still the same strengths and same weaknesses.

Expectations were high going in, but so far the Yotes haven’t shown that the parts of their game that needed to improve have actually improved.

Next: Jakob Chychrun Belongs In The NHL All Season

There is still time to turn it around, but there’s a lot of patching needed to fix all these holes.

Arizona can still fulfill it’s goal of contending for the playoffs. To do so, however, the team has to prove it can play more consistently than it did last season.