Rick Tocchet and the Arizona Coyotes seem to have failed at making the playoffs once again. While there’s still about a month of hockey to be played, the Coyotes are getting closer and closer to missing the playoffs with every loss.
I do not think it is fair to fully blame Rick Tocchet for the Arizona Coyotes missing the playoffs, but at the same time, you can not deny that this team has underperformed. We all thought the Coyotes were going to be pushed over the edge when they acquired Taylor Hall, but that coincided with the injury to Darcy Kuemper and then all of a sudden the Coyotes were somehow only in a wildcard position.
The Coyotes have struggled defensively in the past few months, obviously, scoring goals has never been easy but now all of a sudden it looks like we can not keep the puck out of our net either. I think the biggest issue Rick Tocchet needs to try and fix would be their defense. We were better without Niklas Hjalmarsson then we were before.
The defense is not the only issue that Rick Tocchet needs to fix. His strategy on the power play needs to change as well, as the team has failed drastically on the man advantage. I know that the Coyotes have never really been that great on the power play, but at the same time adding Taylor Hall to the team should only have made our power play better.
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Rick Tocchet and the Coyotes also have to try and figure out how to best use Taylor Hall. He is playing 21+ minutes a night, and while that is great, he is taking away opportunities from our younger players. If Hall does stick around after this season I would expect the team to really look different next year in the style they play.
One way the Coyotes could try and change their style would be by changing their coaching staff. The power play and defense have struggled so much this season, and you could blame Tocchet and the coaching staff for that. I know that no one wants to see a well-respected coach within the team leave but at the same time, no one wants to see this team miss the playoffs anymore.