The Arizona Coyotes wrapped up their season-opening road trip with an outstanding 6-3 win in Columbus. Blue Jackets’ fans turned into Boo-Birds as they showered the home team with boo’s throughout the game. The Coyotes’ special teams dominated the undisciplined Jackets and the team gained some major momentum as they head back to Tempe to play their first home game of the season and first ever at the new Mullett Arena.
A game that had stars Clayton Keller, Shane Gostisbehere, and rookie Dylan Guenther on the scoresheet, started with domination by the Coyotes from the puck drop. The Coyotes started fast from the beginning and the hitters hit.
Gostisbehere opened the scoring on the first powerplay with a huge shot, as he drove to the net. The Coyotes are at their best when they get the puck deep in the zone and can work the defense with their size. The team did just that when Zack Kassian banged in a dirty goal and opened the game up 2-0, beating goalie Daniil Tarasov.
The Coyotes started the second period fast and had the Blue Jackets on their heals. You could feel the frustration from the Jackets as their fans showered them with boo’s and the team lost it’s competitive edge.
And that’s when the stupid penalties began; a sign of a team losing their cool and letting frustration effect their game. The Coyotes went back on the powerplay and Keller made a gorgeous ‘thread the needle’ pass to Gostibehere, and Shane buried it backdoor to make game 3-0.
The highlight of the period was the play of the Coyotes’ penalty kill (if you can top the unbelievable powerplay). The Yotes shut down the Blue Jackets and denied zone entry damn near every time Columbus was on the attack. The penalty kill stayed tight, and operated like pistons as they cut off passing lanes, and gave the Blue Jackets zero shots.
And then came the boo’s. Oh the boo’s. Talk about taking your team out of the game. Great job Columbus fans.
Dylan Guenther iced the period with a beautiful toe-drag, snipe to make the game 4-0. That was goodnight for the Tarasov.
During the third period the game seemed to slow down slightly, in spite of the fact that Jack McBain scored his first goal of the year (an absolute beauty of a goal), and Columbus finally found the back of the net. The good guys couldn’t keep over-paid Johnny Gaudreau off the score sheet forever and he scored a gorgeous second effort goal.
The Jackets scored two more super late in the game (garbage time) and the Coyotes won 6-3.
Sometimes things seem to just go your way, and this was one of those games for the Coyotes. In this game, Columbus looked like a team that overlooked the rebuilding Yotes and we made them pay.
The Coyotes’ defense was solid throughout, blocking shots early, clearing the crease, and pushing the forwards outside the house, giving up virtually no quality scoring chances. The defense easily played their best game of the season. Goalie Connor Ingram was very effective as he was able to see almost every shot (as a goalie its see it, save it), and came up big on a few.
Some interesting numbers for the Coyotes through six games.
Shane Gostisbehere now has 4 goals, 4 assists and 8 points.
Clayton Keller has 2 goals, 5 assists, and 7 points, and is on a 5 game scoring streak.
Travis Boyd has 1 goal, 4 assists, and 5 points.
Nick Ritchie has 3 goals, 2 assists, and 5 points.
For a team that shouldn’t feature many guys who can score, we have two who are at a point-per-game pace, and two with 5 points in 6 games.
The team heads home to face the Winnipeg Jets this Friday, for the 2022-23 home opener and inaugural game at the Mullett.