Live Game Chat: Arizona Coyotes look to finish road trip on right note in Chicago

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 26: Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) looks on during the NHL hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2019 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 26: Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) looks on during the NHL hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2019 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Arizona Coyotes are back in action tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks of the central division. The team needs to find a way to finish their four-game road trip on a high note and that starts at puck drop tonight.

Arizona is now 2-1 during their trip so far. I know that it might not seem like a significant game, but when you have the opportunity to capture 2 points on one of the bottom teams in the western conference you need to take advantage.

Arizona is supposedly one of the better teams in the NHL. They are currently second in the pacific division, and yet fans still feel like they are holding their breath. We are just one injury or one bad performance away from fans losing a lot of faith in this team, mostly due to how they play the game.

Arizona plays a heavy defensive first type system, and that comes with consequences. We sometimes struggle to score goals, going up against a weak defensive team like Chicago I hope we find a way to score 3 or 4 goals.

Chicago is at the bottom of the standings for many reasons, they are weak defensively, give up too many scoring opportunities, and have struggled with their special teams. Yet you can not take them for granted. Tonight the Coyotes need to take advantage of the weak defensive play of the Blackhawks. If they want to do that they are going to need to start in their own end. If you want to see a recap of the ‘Hawks last game check it out.

The Blackhawks rely heavily on one player on the ice. Patrick Kane currently leads the team with 35 points. The next best point total is 21 points by Alex DeBrincat. DeBrincat is currently finding his scoring touch as he has 2 goals in the last 2 games.

When you look at the Blackhawks scoring total through the regular season you see how much the team relies on just one player. Patrick Kane is playing 21:38 minutes of ice time a night on average, that is a crazy amount for a forward. The team relies on him to do everything so stopping the Blackhawks will mean stopping Kane.

Scoring Regular Season Table
ScoringGoalsAssistsIce TimePoint Shares
1Patrick Kane31RW2914213502610402147010912.862221:
2Alex DeBrincat22RW29714215934001220868.152117:571.40.82.213256842.9
3Dylan Strome22C25614201010510011303616.741416:331.50.82.49810713045.1
4Brandon Saad27LW298816-2860228007111.348216:361.10.51.6618141351.9
5Jonathan Toews31C2951015-6224102910736.856319:
6Dominik Kubalík24LW276410-2651002205810.333712:
7Kirby Dach19C2355100450024103315.228012:
8Alexander Nylander21LW284610-864001510478.536112:530.40.10.56102722.2
9Erik Gustafsson27D283710-2193000340437.056720:
10Andrew Shaw28C263710-4332100610466.537614:
11Ryan Carpenter29C281783100010601205.039214:00-
12Olli Maatta25D27178-341000601323.148718:
13David Kampf25C29437-843011300458.942414:37-
14Duncan Keith36D251561121000320372.759623:51-
15Calvin de Haan28D27145981000400412.454320:07-
16Zack Smith31C221450131000301224.524711:14-
17Drake Caggiula25LW15314-2430001001520.016711:
18Brent Seabrook34D27314442101100358.648317:530.11.31.4444100
19Connor Murphy26D17224-122000101296.934220:
20Slater Koekkoek25D13033-480000300100.020015:
21Adam Boqvist19D61010410000001010.08714:
22Corey Crawford35G16000000000000093458:
23Dennis Gilbert23D5000-55000000050.07615:11-0.1-0.2-0.352200
24Matthew Highmore23LW20000000000000189:15-
25Robin Lehner28G15000020000000081954:370.00.04.00000
26Brendan Perlini23LW100000000000010.087:490.00.00.00100
27Anton WedinF400014000000020.0369:04-
Team Total2979133212-1422762134111052449068.710.812.230.135162476079448.9

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/8/2019.

I know we have talked about how heavy the Coyotes rely on team play in the past. The team does not have a single star that leads the team game in and game out. Rather the team has a slew of players that know how to score and how to play as a unit. That could give them an advantage over a team like Chicago.

Blackhawks fans had to hold their breath a few days ago when Patrick Kane had an injury scare during practice. That is not something the Coyotes have to worry about without one star leading the team. To be fair, the Coyotes have been without Niklas Hjalmarsson for a while now and continue to succeed.

The Blackhawks will be playing short-handed tonight, they lost Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw to injury earlier this week. The Coyotes should be able to use their speed to get past a blue line lacking in talent. However, the team will have to try to get the puck past a great goaltender in Robin Lehner. We could end up seeing a goaltending battle tonight.

Both Lehner and Kuemper are playing great so far this season. One thing that might give Kuemper the advantage is the unit he has in front of him compared to Lehner. Of course, we won’t find out until tonight when Chicago hosts the Coyotes. I am excited about this game personally, I will be at the game tonight and taking in the action live. I plan to live-tweet on twitter with all the updates as well as participating in a Disqus game chat with all those who want to connect in the comments feel free to take part to share your thoughts and talk with other Coyotes fans!