With November wrapping up, the last home-game of the month was one that the Arizona Coyotes wanted to get a “W” out of. With 6 wins on the month, all but one on the road, the ‘Yotes wanted to give their home crowd a reason to cheer.
The last match-up against the Calgary Flames this season, Mike Smith started in goal and the Coyotes lost 5-3. This time Devan Dubnyk, who was 5-0-1, got the start. Calgary is fast, and they handle the puck well. They outshot the Coyotes in the first period, 13 to 3, and with their forecheck, they overpowered Arizona.
“We had to play fast and [we] had to play with poise and make good plays with the puck and [we] didn’t do a lot of either,” said Coach Dave Tippett after the game. “In this game if you played slow, you didn’t play very well… And [we] had too many players that played slow.”
During the second period, there was more of an effort, and an even-strength goal by TJ Brodie looked like just another obstacle that they could maneuver around. However, the Flames lead only grew larger with two goals in the third, one by Johnny Gaudreau and a power play goal by Jiri Hudler.
Yet again the Coyotes couldn’t capitalize on any of their shots. What looked to be promising opportunities for goals couldn’t be properly executed. This isn’t something new to Arizona, but rather something they have been struggling with since the beginning of the season.
It would be nice to be able to pinpoint just one thing that would improve their overall game play, but they are struggling in so many different places, that it’s hard to keep track.
The main issue at hand, the team is lacking offensively. In every game that they’ve played this season, there has been a struggle to execute on goals. No matter how many shots that they’ve had, the puck just can’t seem to find it’s way into the goal. There could be a numerous amount of reasons for this, but the main one, there aren’t any big goal scorers getting the job done.
There was talk after the game about how the type of game that Calgary plays, is the type of game that the Coyotes should look to play. “On every single puck it seems like they have a guy going hard on it,” expressed Dubnyk on how difficult it is to play against a team like that. “We can certainly take something from that, on how we want to play too.”
November was a learning month, and with the mixture of injuries and lots of games squeezed close together, it was rough. There were many lessons that came out of the struggles, and it needs to be reflected upon based on the improvements that are vital to the teams success.
Monday, December 1st: Edmonton Oilers (Away)
Tuesday, December 2nd: Calgary Flames (Away)
Thursday, December 4th: Los Angeles Kings (Home)
Saturday, December 6th: Boston Bruins (Home)