Arizona Coyotes Offense Missing in Action vs Colorado

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

The Arizona Coyotes were missing the inspirational piece of their offense on Saturday night and they sputtered as a result.

When the Arizona Coyotes began their game with the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, they knew that their task was going to be even tougher than usual. The odds of beating a team like the Avs with Conor Garland on the ice are pretty high, but when he watches from the press box they rise significantly.

That’s not to say that the Yotes can’t win without number 83, but they didn’t. No one picked up the slack and carried the team on their shoulders, although Clayton Keller played a pretty good game overall and scored the Desert Dogs’ first goal.

The Coyotes seemed determined to get off to a good start and they did so, at least from the perspective of being competitive and not allowing the potent Avalanche to impose their will upon the outclassed men in purple. Goalkeeper Antti Raanta kept the team close early-on, But there was no sustained offense created by the Yotes either. The Avs routinely attacked and defended as units. Apparently it is in their blood, and they do it for 60 minutes.

In contrast, the Coyotes seldom do it and never for 60 minutes. Sadly, there are a few things we can count on with the Yotes: inconsistent play, dumb penalties (can you say “too many men on the ice”?), and shooting high over or wide of, but not into, the goal!

As a result, Colorado wore down their hosts by going up and down the ice in waves, and something had to give. It did, and it was the Yotes will to compete. The Avalanche scored a six pack of goals, not that they needed that many.

To their credit, the boys scored a second goal, this one the first of the season by well-known Coyotes’ sniper Ilya Lyubushkin. Good for him and for the Coyotes. I felt bad for the subdued “attaboy” our Russian bear got from his teammates, as they already knew that another loss was a foregone conclusion.

So what happens next for the underwhelming Coyotes? They travel to LA to say hello to the Kings on Wednesday night, and return to play the ever pesky Minnesota Wild on Friday and Saturday nights. The Wild has historically been a problem for the Coyotes, especially at GRA, so it will be interesting to see how the Yotes play them in this two-game set.

Hopefully the Coyotes will get some much-needed rest and practice time in, including how to count to five.

For those of us that think the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, we may see the Coyotes straddling the “.500 mark” throughout this truncated season. That’s not a good thing if the team doesn’t make the playoffs, and several teams in the Honda West Division are on rolls. Thus, we’ll just have to wait until season’s end to see if the Yotes were solid enough to compete for the ultimate prize.

Let’s hope we see a good result in LA and carry the momentum over against the Wild. Let’s go Coyotes!