It seems like the Arizona Coyotes season ended long ago, and maybe that’s a good thing, especially for their fans that are now engaged in watching the NHL playoffs and realizing that the organization has some work to do. It might be better to forget the recently-ended campaign altogether after seeing the St. Louis Blues get swept in four games by the Colorado Avalanche. Who in their right mind believes that the Coyotes could have played better than the Blues did against the powerful Avs? It’s a bit cringeworthy to think about the Yotes’ most likely performance against Colorado on the national stage.
What becomes abundantly clear while watching these first-round playoff series’ games is that the gap between this past season’s Coyotes roster and those currently participating in the playoffs is that the overall skill level of the Yotes is woefully substandard. The handful of quality players on the Coyotes roster will need to be surrounded by skillful, more energetic players to ever be competitive. That can’t be accomplished until a new coach is on board, and the coaching carousel is already in full spin mode with several teams looking for changes in their behind-the-bench leadership.
General Manager Bill Armstrong may have favorites in mind, but are they working for other teams still in the playoffs as assistant coaches and thus unable to be interviewed yet? Are there any “experienced” younger coaches that would fit the bill (pun intended!)?
What does GMBA envision the “new” Arizona Coyotes style of play to be, and how does he describe it to a prospective coach? Are they going to be a defensive minded team that builds from the back and keeps the oppositions’ scores as low as possible low while stealing a goal or two? Will they have an attack first mentality that utilizes skillful younger players that can play north and south for extended periods of time, players that can work in the dirty areas to get the job done? Most likely it will be a hybrid of sorts, but until the coaching domino falls, the Coyotes won’t be able fill their roster with players that will fit the desired style of hockey. Truth be told, Coyotes fans have always had trouble trying to identify or describe the Yotes system of play.
Yep, there’s plenty of work to do between now and the opening of the shiny new season as members of the Central Division. Selecting coaches, staff, and players will consume the hockey operations crew of the Coyotes, and that’s a good thing for everyone.
In the interim, watching the NHL playoffs is certainly entertaining even without the Coyotes participation, and every day brings new discussions about firing and hiring coaches, making trades, and signing free agents. Let’s hope that, in time, our Arizona Coyotes have some exciting good news to share about the future and direction of the team. After all, October will be here before we know it.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy some high-quality playoff hockey. The battle between the Avalanche and VGK should be fun to watch! Who do you want to win this year’s Stanley Cup?