Arizona Coyotes uninspired, embarrassing effort results in 9 to 3 beat down at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
In their latest test against one of the best teams in the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes (16-15-5 37 pts) appeared utterly unprepared emotionally to match the speed and physical play of the Colorado Avalanche (23-8-4 50 pts).
The Desert Dogs knew full well what to expect from that dangerous, high-speed juggernaut in Denver, yet they weren’t prepared from the very get go to try to neutralize the Avalanche attack. It only took 49 seconds for Alex Goligoski to commit the Yotes’ first penalty, and although the Avs failed to score on that initial power play, it only took 4 minutes and change for the burgundy and blue to get on the scoreboard.
You know the rest – things went downhill real fast, and it’s best to forget this grisly nightmare of a game and look forward to Friday’s game against the Ducks. The only blessing resulting from last night’s massacre is that the Yotes only play the Avalanche once more in the regular season.
The Arizona Coyotes may need to engage in some soul-searching and spontaneous self-direction if they hope to reach the playoffs.
The stunned Arizona road warriors now travel to Southern California for two games apiece against the Anaheim Ducks (11-20-6 28 pts) on April 2 and 4, and then the L.A. Kings (14-14-6 34 pts) on April 5 and 7. Neither are pushovers, and the Coyotes will have to adjust to and prepare for each of those unique teams’ styles fairly quickly.
Some Coyotes fans believe that the Yotes may actually be superior to the three teams from California, but I submit that hovering around a “.500” winning percentage for most of the season doesn’t really imply any superiority over anyone in the Honda West Division. More accurately, I’m guessing that Coyotes fans believe that victories over the Ducks and Kings are more achievable than wins over the top three in the West, which may be true. Remember, however, that five of the six games played between the Yotes and Ducks were decided by a single goal, and in two of those tilts at GRA the Coyotes needed blessings from the hockey gods to win.
You may recall that the L.A. Kings beat the Yotes twice in Glendale in mid-February, while the Coyotes beat them in Los Angeles in March. No home ice advantage there! As mentioned above, they play three more times in L.A. in April (5th, 7th and the 24th), and twice in Arizona in May (3rd and 5th).
Both the Kings and Sharks won their games on Wednesday night, so both are only 3 points behind the Arizona Coyotes in the Honda West Division standings.
When all is said and done, it will be the results of the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks’ games that will determine the fate of the Arizona Coyotes’ playoff hopes. The chances of the top three teams beating the Coyotes are always good, but losses won’t necessarily result in their elimination from the postseason. These last five weeks will be both exciting and nerve-wracking, and hopefully loads of fun.
Let’s see how well the Desert Dogs can play under pressure during their next 8 games, as their playoff future depends on it. Let’s go Coyotes!