The Arizona Coyotes lost their sixth straight game on Thursday night against the Rangers. The loss also marked five losses and zero points on their five game homestand.
It was a brutal home stand for the Arizona Coyotes.
Five games at home. Five losses. No respite for the team or Mike Smith.
Six losses in a row yet somehow still two points ahead of Colorado in the battle for last place in the entire NHL.
The team has hit rock bottom and it remains to be seen where they go from here.
A team meeting was held after the Rangers loss to presumably light a fire under some underperforming players, and perhaps to save some dignity.
Believe it or not, however, these past few games haven’t been a total wash.
Anthony Duclair Woke Up
Was it the bellyaching from fans and bloggers?
Maybe it was simply inevitable.
Whatever the case, Anthony Duclair now has two goals in two games and both were goal-scorers goals, as grizzled NHL analysts would say.
The first was the product of hard work. The second a product of skill and a bit of luck.
Either way, Arizona Coyotes fans and Duke himself are pleased as punch to see him back on the scoresheet.
Wherever you fall on who gets the blame for the Yotes’ plight this season, the absence of consistent scoring from the likes of Duclair and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, among others, is a sizable piece of the puzzle.
They Shot The Puck
The Rangers game was a disaster from nearly every angle, but Arizona has had a decent stretch of possession over the past several games.
They outshot the Stars, tied the Leafs, and outshot the Oilers in three of the past five games.
Arizona was neck-and-neck with Calgary in that matchup, as well.
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The Arizona Coyotes give up the most shots in the league per game (34.9) and are 24th in shot generation (28.6).
Part of that shooting resurgence was due to score effects, but ultimately any positive step is encouraging at this stage of the season.
Shooting more than your opinion doesn’t equal a win, it merely gives you more opportunities to score and affords your opponent less.
If the Yotes can get to the point where they can stabilize the shooting gallery on Mike Smith, they’ll be in a much better spot to pick up points.
Power Play and Penalty Kill Woes Continue
Unfortunately, the positives end here.
The Coyotes took way too many penalties against New York. Bad penalties.
Indeed they do.
We haven’t seen as much on-ice leadership as one would like in the first three months of the season. The team makes mistake after mistake, often the same ones repeated, and then they run it back the next time out.
At some point someone has to break the cycle.
Whether that’s Dave Tippett finally relenting and benching some veterans, Shane Doan laying into some underperformers or someone else stepping up, something has to give.
Anthony Duclair said it best in his post game media availability, “Having a five-game homestand and not getting a point, it’s just embarrassing and just not acceptable.”
The team is atrocious in both categories – 25th in power play conversions (14.8%) and 28th in penalty kill percentage (75.4%).
Without some significant improvement in those areas, it won’t matter much who gets hot going forward.