Arizona Coyotes Lose to Colorado Avalanche 3 to 2 in Game 1

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Coyotes weren’t much competition for the Colorado Avalanche in the first of their two-game set at Gila River Arena.

If Friday night’s game was any indication of how far the Arizona Coyotes must go to truly compete with the big boys of the Honda West Division, the Yotes were clearly shown how wide the gap remains between them and the elite teams.

The star-studded roster of the visiting Colorado Avalanche basically wore the pedestrian Coyotes down and finally scored their goals in the latter stages of the game. The outclassed Coyotes eventually scored two goals of their own in quick succession in the third period (Phil Kessel and Drake Caggiula) , but they didn’t have enough gas in the tank, or time remaining time on the clock, to manage a third consecutive miracle finish.

Goalkeeper Adin Hill played a solid game for the Yotes in his first start of the season, but he didn’t get much help from his players on attack. The Coyotes couldn’t muster any sustained puck possession while facing one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, but they finally broke through to score 2 but losing 3 to 2.

I am amazed that the Yotes continue to seem ill-prepared to compete at the beginning of games. What’s the problem? How many legitimate reasons can there be, if any, for not being ready to play as a member of a professional hockey team that is being paid handsomely for their ability and willingness to compete with their opponents? Please fix it, somebody!

The inconsistent play of the Coyotes, coupled with the commission of needless penalties, didn’t allow the team to establish or maintain any sustained pressure in their “O” zone, and when there are only a handful of players contributing to the scoring in the first place, the Colorado defense could concentrate on shutting down the most dangerous Coyotes attackers. When the Coyotes are hitting on all cylinders they are tough to defend, but even they are not nearly as effective in their transition game as the talented, high octane Avalanche.

So what’s in store for the Coyotes on Saturday night? Will any adjustments they make against a superior team prove effective, or will they just tread water until the inevitable onslaught by the aggressive Avalanche begins? It is common knowledge that the Coyotes lack consistency in their play, and while some players are obviously focused on their games, there are others that appear to be spectators, and having people “coasting” certainly won’t work against the Avalanche.

Let’s see which version of the Arizona Coyotes takes the ice tonight, and if they play from the get-go like they intend to win. Let’s go Coyotes!