After last nights upsetting 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Coyotes are now 6-0 in their last six home games. That ties a franchise record for a home losing streak. Not only have they not been winning, but they haven’t scored a goal on home ice in over two full games.
The things that aren’t happening out on that ice, are the things that the team has talked about all season. Things like execution and playing a full 60 minutes, just aren’t getting followed through.
The loss prompted the team to have a lengthy chat amongst the players post-game, one that seemed to really emphasize the more mental state of their game. Captain Shane Doan said that everyone got to “express themselves and what they think”.
“It’s important that we understand that no one’s going to feel sorry for you,” said Doan about their team meeting. “There will be a lot of people pointing fingers from the outside, and we gotta make sure we’re good on the inside and we just gotta be better as a group. But our belief in each other has to be better, and we gotta have a belief in the fact that we’re a good enough team to win.”
After Jarret Stoll’s power play goal, making the score 3-0, starting goaltender Mike Smith was pulled, and Devan Dubnyk was put in. Dubnyk let one goal in on the PP on a slapshot from Alec Martinez way back near the blue line.
If you have followed along this season, then you would probably be aware of the struggling goaltender. Smith has been ridiculed all season long and he’s stepping up and saying that he’s “done with excuses” and the way that he’s played “has got to stop”.
Smith went on to say that “it’s easy to point fingers at everyone else, but at the end of the day it’s about what you do, what you could do to be better”. He said it’s as simple as that he’s “just got to be better”.
“I think it’s a great group, but it has to transfer into results on the ice,” Said Smith about the talks of the belief in the team “Saying that, I think we’ve done a lot of talking, and one thing I take out from a lot that’s been said is that there has to be a belief in here that you can win. Until there’s a belief that you can win, you can come back, you can hold leads… You’re just going to struggle, and it goes out through the whole lineup, myself included.”
Coach Dave Tippett is never a man of too many words, but the words that he does say are powerful. Last nights coach quotes were no different. One thing that he’s emphasized all season is the execution of the offense, and once again he says that they are “having a little struggle” with that part of their game. He noted the team was working “awful hard”, but “everybody works hard” so it really depends upon how you execute.
It’s been a tough stretch so far, but they know that the team is made up of a talented group of players. The team talk seemed to really emphasize on those capabilities that they possess and just that they can’t give up on the team mentally. It is way more than a physical game that they are playing, and because of that, they have to focus on the root of the issues and not point fingers.
Saturday, December 6th, the Arizona Coyotes host the Boston Bruins for the first time this season. The Bruins have lost their last three games of their four game West Coast road trip. With both teams struggling to get a “W”, who will come out on top?