Arizona Coyotes Lose to Colorado Avalanche, Are Back to “.500” Hockey

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Arizona Coyotes still can’t score enough goals to win, fall to Colorado Avalanche in 4th straight loss, 4 to 2.

The Arizona Coyotes stood pat during the NHL trading period, which was not a surprise at all. General Manager Bill Armstrong believed that there were no trade scenarios that made sense because they didn’t benefit the Desert Dogs either during the current campaign or for next season. The Yotes, therefore, played the first place Colorado Avalanche for their last time during the regular season with their incumbent roster.

In Denver on Monday night, it was Ivan Prosvetov versus Philipp Grubauer in the nets, with Prosvetov getting his first NHL start. It wasn’t a successful debut for the young netminder, though, as the ‘Yotes’ Clayton Keller, Conor Garland, and Phil Kessel were basically missing in action. Sure, 37 shots were taken throughout the game with two actually finding the net, but few were quality chances. Those goals were scored in the third period by Michael Bunting and Johan Larsson, not by who are historically known within the organization as the Arizona Coyotes “best.” It shouldn’t matter who scores for the team as long as they score enough goals to win, but in this case it does. If your most potent attackers run dry and shoot high or wide rather than on target, the Coyotes are in deep trouble.

Phil Kessel is notoriously streaky and it looks like he’s in one of his scoreless ruts at a very bad time. Clayton Keller, except to occasionally contribute to a physical scrap on the ice, has been practically invisible. Conor Garland, one of the Coyotes’ fan favorites, may have simply been “solved” by opposing teams and basically neutralized by simply knocking him to the ice. Simply put, the Coyotes need more goals to win games, and taking advantage of quality chances and actually scoring is the obvious answer.

The best thing that happened to the underwhelming Arizona Coyotes last night was that two of the three teams that they’re “competing” with for the fourth playoff spot in the Honda West Division also lost their games. Yep, fortunately for the Desert Dogs, the Anaheim Ducks (13-23-7 33 pts) enjoyed the beginning of their spoiler role by beating the San Jose Sharks, (18-19-4 40 pts) while the Vegas Golden Knights (28-11-2 58 pts) defeated the L.A. Kings (16-19-6 38 pts) 4 to 2 after the Kings led 2 to 0 early in that game.

Fast forward now to Wednesday night, and we see that the Coyotes play the powerful, third place Minnesota Wild (24-13-3 51 pts) in St. Paul prior to returning to Arizona. The Yotes have not had a lot of success against the Wild this season, losing 4 out of the 5 games played thus far. In those 5 games the Wild have outscored the Coyotes 18 to 7.

It is clear, then, that the Coyotes will need to score more goals if they hope to beat the Wild Wednesday night in Minnesota and again twice next week in Glendale. Hopefully they’ll figure it out by then, and the standings will reflect it. Let’s go Coyotes!