Coyotes' Connor Ingram Named NHL First Star of the Week

Tampa Bay Lightning v Arizona Coyotes
Tampa Bay Lightning v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages

Looking back at the offseason, and even to begin the year, the Coyotes had a question mark in the net. They could have bolstered the ranks by bringing in a veteran to provide strong play and to mentor their young, talented, but inconsistent net-minders, they instead kept the status quo. Arizona decided to run it back with the tandem of Karel Vejmelka and Connor Ingram for another season. Now just a bit over a quarter of the way through the year, it appears they have found their answer in the net. In what is a surprise to some, the answer has been Connor Ingram instead of Karel Vejmelka as Ingram has been playing like a top-tier NHL goaltender.

To start the season, the Coyotes utilized a rotation of nearly every other game. Over time it became clear that Connor Ingram was the standout and the most consistent of the two. Slowly the coaching staff started to lean on him and rely on the hot hand and by mid-November, he earned the starting gig. Ingram rewarded their faith with some of the best play by a goaltender in the entire NHL. He helped guide the team to a red-hot finish in November which included a record-setting win streak and two of his three career shutouts.

His efforts were also noticed around the league as he was awarded the NHL First Star of the Week for the week of December 3rd. For context on what an accomplishment this is, the last two Coyotes players to receive the honor were Clayton Keller last year, and Mike Smith the week of February 12th, 2012 for the "Phoenix" Coyotes.

Because of his consistent and dependable play, Ingram sports a record of 11-5 with a 2.52 GAA and a save percentage of .920. This puts him in the top ten in the league in the league in wins, the top fifteen in save percentage, and in the top half of the NHL in GAA. While the team more than likely will return to a rotation and ride whichever goalie is the hot hand if fortunes change, the Coyotes currently have an NHL Star of the Week and a potential top-ten goaltender in net most nights.