The Coyotes’ season has ended, and while the team came out strong to start the second half, disappointingly, it was a freefall to end the year. They came out of the All-Star break hot, going 4-2-2 and gaining 10 points, but then went 3-8-3 and plummeted into a spiral. The team suffered its second nine-game losing streak of the season, and in what felt like Déjà vu, they got absolutely destroyed in some of the matchups. While the playoffs were a pipe dream, especially after ownership and the front office held a panicked firesale, the spark and fight this team had in most games was inspiring to see. It’s unfortunate the season ended in such a deflating manner.
That being said, there were several positive takeaways from this season. Clayton Keller was outstanding after suffering that gruesome injury at the end of last March. He was the Coyotes All-Star representative, easily the team MVP, and tied the all-time points record for the franchise with 86. He should absolutely win the Bill Masterton Trophy, and be named the lone capitan of this team for next season.
Feeding off of Keller’s sensational play, his linemates Nick Schmaltz and Barrett Hayton were excellent as well. This line played with unmatched energy and chemistry and was primarily the Coyotes’ source of offense night in and night out. They can compete against any line in the NHL and give Arizona a fighting chance, and it will be fun to watch them play again next season.
Finally, Travis Boyd’s play and goaltending are trends to watch heading into next season. Boyd’s name was consistently heard throughout the season and was a solid contributor. Inconsistency was a theme this season in net, as some nights the trio of Vejmelka, Ingram, and Prosvetov could be lights out or just as easily lit up. It didn’t help that the team was extremely weak defensively either. While I’m not yet sold on any of the three being a star in the net, they are young and have time to develop, especially Vejmelka and Prosvetov. They all would benefit from veteran mentorship from a goalie who’s been there before, like Ben Bishop or Braden Holtby (if healthy).
As we go into the offseason, there is a lot to reflect on and digest from this past year in addition to looking forward to free agency and the draft. We’ll keep you up-to-date here at Howlin’ Hockey with all things ‘Yotes. Keep on Howlin’!
- 3/16: Arizona vs. Vancouver 3-2 (W)
- 3/18: Arizona vs. Chicago 4-2 (W)
- 3/21: Arizona @ Winnipeg 2-1 (L)
- 3/22: Arizona @ Edmonton 4-3 (OTL)
- 3/24: Arizona @ Colorado 3-1 (L)
- 3/26: Arizona vs. Colorado 4-3 (SOL)
- 3/27: Arizona vs. Edmonton 5-4 (L)
- 3/31: Arizona vs. Dallas 5-2 (L)
- 4/1: Arizona vs. San Jose 7-2 (L)
- 4/3: Arizona @ Seattle 8-1 (L)
- 4/6: Arizona @ Seattle 4-2 (L)
- 4/8: Arizona vs. Anaheim 5-4 (OTW)
- 4/10: Arizona vs. Seattle 4-1 (L)
- 4/13: Arizona vs. Vancouver 5-4 (OTL)