The Arizona Coyotes are entering the worst part of the schedule for them. If they escape from the month of November with a record above 500 it will be a win, but a mindset change might help them get there.
The Arizona Coyotes have been quick to show their frustrations as of late about the scheduling issue in November. One thing I think everyone needs to understand is no one cares.
Arizona is kind of like the stepchild to the NHL. With how the ownership situation has been in the past the NHL has used Arizona to fix holes in the schedule where it is needed. That will be why the team is rewarded with a nice 4 game road trip after their long month of November haul of hockey.
Arizona should be looking up thanks to a new owner, and the team seems to be playing better, but that still is not stopping people from complaining about the schedule now. The NHL is filled with tough times, and each year presents its own challenges.
Arizona is facing adversity right now, but how they will respond will define their season. If Arizona can go out and put the best effort on the ice game in and game out playing a full 60 minutes there is no reason they can’t win. Obviously, at times it might look like the team is missing out on key sleep in their own bed, but that is why you can scratch a guy on a certain night to give him a little more rest.
The schedule is filled with a lot of back to backs, and 3 games in 4 days for the Coyotes. It is not like the team is incapable of succeeding in the net with little rest. Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta are some of the best goalies in the NHL right now, and the defense in front of them can help stop the pucks from getting to the net.
Arizona also has goalie Eric Comrie available if Kuemper or Raanta need a night away from the rink. Rick Tocchet and the coaching staff have already emphasized the amount of time the players will spend away from the practice rink during the month. They know that these players are going to be playing a lot of hockey.
I just hope we can get a good rotation going with who plays when, and maybe work some guys out of the lineup for a resting day every once in a while. That is of course after Brad Richardson comes back from his injury.
The ‘Yotes are going to need everyone on their team to be playing 100% for the team if they want to make the playoffs. A long month could help grow the team closer together, I would rather have them face adversity now than in February or March. I think the Coyotes can use this time to really gel as a team, both on the ice and on the airplane during this busy month of traveling.
Let’s just hope the Coyotes can take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. I think they have faith in each other that they can get it done.