The Arizona Coyotes have always had a good penalty kill, but the numbers are really starting to show it.
Players like Brad Richardson, Jason Demers, and Alex Goligoski have all been leaned on heavily in the Coyotes own zone, as well as Antti Raanta and the other goalies for the ‘Yotes. Because of the great play of our penalty killers Arizona has been doing great on the PK.
Since December 31st the Arizona Coyotes have been short-handed 19 times going into last night’s game. That is 6 games worth of penalties, and Arizona stopped all of them. Arizona in their last 6 games going into last night’s contest was operating at a 100% completion rate.
Pair that with the already 83% completion rate on their penalty kill and you get a pretty great threat. In my honest opinion though, your Penalty kill should never have to touch the ice.
The key to limiting opposing teams’ offensive threats is not taking penalties. Arizona has given up 127 penalties all season according to hockey reference. That number is below average already, but if the Coyotes want to win games they need to give up even less.
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19 power-play opportunities against means a little over 3 penalties against per game, that number is a little high in my opinion. That is 6 minutes for opposing teams to control the play in your own zone.
Moving forward I don’t mind if Arizona gives up the occasional power-play goal, rather I want to see them stop giving up so many opportunities to opposing teams. Every power play gets better with practice, we can’t give teams 6 minutes to figure their power play out.
Moving on to games against Pittsburgh and San Jose, the Coyotes are going to want to try and not have the PK out on the ice a lot. Pittsburgh is in the bottom 5 in the league in the last 10 games with their power play, and San Jose is in the top 5. We need to try and limit opportunities.
I love seeing the Coyotes not give up power-play goals against, but I do not like seeing them out for half of a period. Now is the time to clean up our game and play more disciplined!
Last night’s performance only showcased this. Arizona took three costly penalties, although they did not give up any goals on the PK they lost momentum, giving the other team the puck will not help you switch the momentum in the game.