The Arizona Coyotes have been turning heads all year. With a record of 15-8-3 to start the year, there are a lot of things to be thankful for.
Personally, being the site expert here at Howlin’ Hockey has been an absolute thrill for me. Being able to interact with you the fans, and share my thoughts throughout the first two months of Coyotes hockey has been an absolute blessing for me.
The Arizona Coyotes have some of the best fans in all of hockey, and there is a lot to be thankful for. Feel free to share what you are most thankful for in the comments, as I would love to hear your thoughts!
1 Thankful for: John Chayka
GM John Chayka has done a great job with the Coyotes. He has helped turn this team around from one of the worst to a team that can compete for a championship. If you asked me two years ago would the Coyotes be competing for a Stanley Cup with players like Phil Kessel, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Nick Schmaltz I would have said you are crazy, and yet here we are.
John Chayka continues to excel during the season. He locked down Darcy Kuemper earlier this year to a contract. Chayka now has both his goalies locked down for the next few seasons, and even added Eric Comrie to the ranks if Kuemper or Raanta falter.
Chayka’s biggest move though came last season.
2 Thankful for: Nick Schmaltz
Nick Schmaltz continues to prove that he can lead a team. Although Schmaltz has struggled in the faceoff dot this season he has put up a team-leading 19 points through 26 games. Schmaltz has been setting up his teammates all year, and hopefully, he can continue to do so.
Schmaltz has been setting up his linemates similarly to how his old teammate Patrick Kane would in Chicago. Schmaltz spent a few seasons playing with the Blackhawks before joining the Coyotes, and he learned from one of the best in the league.
I believe all Coyotes fans are thankful for Nick Schmaltz, there is one position the team might be more thankful for.
3 Thankful for: Our goalies
Even the NHL will agree we have one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL. Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta have consistently turned heads all season long, and stolen games for the Coyotes. Arizona currently has the second-lowest goals against in the NHL with only 61 goals against throughout the first two months of hockey.
A big reason for those great defensive stats would be our wonderful goaltending. Arizona has given up an above-average amount of shots on goal, at 845 so far this season. The Coyotes have leaned on their goalies to keep them in games, and our goalies have done just that.
We have already seen Raanta and Kuemper make history in Arizona with their back to back shut out victories. Here is hoping for more success in the future.
4 Thankful for: Our team
Historically, if a team finds themselves in a playoff position by the American Thanksgiving they have a great opportunity to make the playoffs. Well, here we are, ladies and gentlemen, the Coyotes are in a playoff spot and have been playing great all season.
We are young, fast, and skilled hopefully we can ride our electric start all the way until the end. Remember when the month of November was supposed to be one of the hardest things for the team? The team finished the month of November with an 8-4-2 record, not bad for the goal being just to finish 500 this month.
5 Thankful for: You the fans
Things are looking up Coyotes fans! I know we have a great opportunity to make the playoffs, enjoy it. You are all some of the best fans in the NHL. Enjoy the wild ride we are on.
With a great penalty kill, deep forward unit, and wonderful goaltending there is a lot to be thankful for!