The Arizona Coyotes continue to be shaky. That’s just putting it lightly. Within the month of December, the only consistency that they had seemed to be stemming from goaltender Devan Dubnyk, but since a tough loss to the Dallas Stars on New Years Eve, he’s been yet again out of commission.
The unsettling goaltending debacle
There’s been a real flip-flop in goaltending, and it’s still one of the most ridiculed things about the team.
Mike Smith got the nod for the start in goal for Tuesday’s game after a nice win against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Saturday to start off their six game home streak. The problem with Smith, though? Well it’s probably the fact that he hasn’t been able to keep a good streak going for himself all season. Just like everyone else, he’s had his up’s and his down’s, but his just seem to be more prevalent. In a span of 24 games, Smith has allowed 11 games with 4 or more goals.
Coach Dave Tippett has stayed faithful to Smith all season, up until December when Dubnyk was given the chance to play in eight consecutive games, up to when the team had a loss with him in between the posts. Tippett has stuck with the fact that Smith looked ready in practice, but in the game he just couldn’t get the “W”.
By no means is Smith entirely at fault, though, and it isn’t right to put all of the weight on his back, but he seems to be the easiest target if he’s the one getting credited with the loss. It may have looked like he was the one to point fingers at, especially after a 6-0 loss, but there is more to it than what statistics might state.
Goaltending not the root of issue, according to Tippett
Tippett made it a point to say that the goaltender was not the issue in last night’s game. You can probably expect some guys to be scratched next game, just like he previously did a couple weeks ago with Sam Gagner and Connor Murphy.
“We weren’t even close in that game. Let’s be honest. That’s not a goaltending issue, that’s a look in the mirror issue.” Said Dave Tippett about the poor effort during the game. “Take the goaltending out in that situation, you’re letting a lot of guys off the hook and we need more guys on the hook.”
If you give any team enough chances to capitalize, that’s exactly what they are going to do. The offensively strong Blues are no exception.
The penalty kill that is killing the ‘Yotes
The penalty kill could be to blame for the number of goals being allowed. It’s been like a roller coaster for the team since the beginning of the season, and after last night, it was headed back downhill again.
The last time St. Louis and the Coyotes matched up against each other in AZ was on October 18th, and the Blues had 4 power play goals against. This time, it was a nearly identical situation, with 3 PPG’s. The fines that is required to kill off the penalties just isn’t being showcased whatsoever.
The Blues aren’t very blue…
The St. Louis Blues have had some productive lines in their last 6 games to say the least. The David Backes/ T.J. Oshie / Alexander Steen line being the most efficient; they’ve put up 29 points in their past 6. Coming into last night’s game, they had 20 points, and they left with 29.
David Backes was the most notable of the three on the night. He went beyond a hat trick, and didn’t get only 3 goals, he got 4. Sadly, the goals didn’t stop at him and Paul Stastny and Jaden Schwartz also cashed in on the struggling team making it 6-0, shutting out the Coyotes offense breaking the teams 4 game winning streak at home.
Things To Know
- Coyotes continue on with their six game home stretch. Thursday, January 8th, they face off with the Winnipeg Jets. Saturday, the 10th, they take on the Ottawa Senators.
- Antoine Vermette took a pass to the face in the first period of last nights game. He had to be tended to twice while on the bench so that he could get re-stitched. According to Tippett it’s “his nose, his mouth, his teeth… all of the above”.
- This loss comes after a 4 game winning streak on home ice for the Coyotes. Three of which wins were credited to Devan Dubnyk.