4 players who must step up for the Arizona Coyotes after the All-Star Break

The Arizona Coyotes have hit a rough patch in what has otherwise been a successful season for one of the NHL’s most underrated teams.
Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning
Arizona Coyotes v Tampa Bay Lightning / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages
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The Arizona Coyotes were one of the biggest surprises during the first two-and-a-half months of the season, amassing a 19-14-2 record, good for 40 points and a spot in the second Wild Card. Unfortunately, that trend has not continued into the new year, and Arizona stumbled to a 4-8-1 record, which is the second-worst mark in the Western Conference. 

For the Coyotes to turn things around when play resumes, there are quite a few players who must rediscover their game. Not all of them are stars or even players who see a ton of ice time, but their lack of impact so far in 2024 has directly contributed to what was a rough January.

While it takes a team effort to turn things around, the Coyotes will have a much easier time getting back to their winning ways if the following four players pick up their game.

Matias Maccelli was electric before the new year

With 32 points in 48 contests, it’s clear Matias Maccelli is on his way to a career-best season. Or was, as he has since hit a speed bump, and the 23-year-old has been far less effective recently. Here is the most striking statistic: Since the first of the year, Maccelli has just five points in 13 contests with a minus-8 rating and one goal. 

Contrast that from the first 35 games when he logged 27 points, putting him on pace for an incredible 63 points through an 82-game season. While it’s true Maccelli hasn’t been a prolific goal-scorer this year or at any other time in his ultra-young career, he’s been an expert at finding open linemates and letting them score. 

But until that part of Maccelli’s game returns, don’t expect the Coyotes to be anything more than pedestrian when they start play again next week. If a good takeaway exists, it’s that Arizona is always in contention when Macelli is finding open teammates and putting them in position to score.