Coyotes’ fluctuating play is making everyone dizzy
Consistency is the key component to any competitors game. That is one of the only things the Coyotes have continually not had. One game, you have a stunning goaltending performance, the next it’s mediocre and the goals against is higher than anyone would want to admit.
It seems like the same things are being talked about, and yet those elements are still lacking. Every game we hear about more “inconsistency” in the way that they play.
Forward Mikkel Boedker who leads the team in goals, started off the scoring for the second game in a row. He’s tallied three goals and four points in the last two games. He only had one shot the entire game last night: his goal three minutes into the first. Their win against the Winnipeg Jets in which he had three points was a similar situation, he had two shots, both of which were on his goals.
“Up’s and down’s; Up’s and down’s. So far we’ve been really, really inconsistent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Coyotes that inconsistent. I mean, that’s the tough part.” said Boedker on the teams iffy game “I don’t know why or where, but we’ve got to figure it out in here as a unit and we’ve got to be more consistent in every single position, every guy to a man has to take it upon himself to be more consistent. That goes for everybody”
One thing that has been established is that Mike Smith, even if he does need to clean up his save percentage, is not entirely at fault for the high amount of goals being let in. Defense is an issue that has been going on since the beginning of the season, and yet again it is a continued issue. At the end of the day, in order for them to get better, they need to have a better defense.
“We’re not a very good defending team right now. We push and prod and whether we aught to try some younger players.” Said head coach Dave Tippett after the loss. “We just need to be a better defending team if we’re going to be competitive night in and night out. You can’t loose by four.”
The thing is, everyone on the team is struggling in some way or another. Tippett doesn’t attribute the erratic team to any one group of players, saying that its both veterans and young guys who are inconsistent.
OEL, OTL, AS-OEL
He’s heard it all: OEL, Over-time Larsson, and now you can add All-Star Larsson to the list of potential nicknames. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was announced as the Coyotes player selected to play in the 2015 All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.
This is his first time partaking in the All-Star games, and there is no other player on that team right now that is more deserving. He is second in scoring with 11 goals, and he has a total of 19 points. The defenseman leads the league’s defenseman in power-play goals with eight and is number one in the NHL for game winning goals with six.
After a tough start to the season +/- wise, he’s really been an all around constituent member of the Coyotes squad. The 23 year old Karlskrona, Sweden native has proven himself worthy of playing with the big dogs of the league. Though he is still young, he flaunts an impressive resume including 298 career games with the coyotes, the 2011 Young Stars Game and even a silver medal from Sweden’s victory in the Sochi Olympics.
“I think it’s a huge honor for him. The amount that he does for our group offensively, and plays all situations, he’s certainly the one guy who’s deserving on our team. He scores big goals. It’s a great honor for a young player.” Tippett says. “I hope he goes and has a real fun weekend and gets around top players and really has a great learning experience that weekend.”
Even after the loss, Ekman-Larsson was ecstatic about the honor of being chosen to take part in such a unique experience.
“Obviously that is a big honor for me, to go there and be around the best players in the league. I’m just going to have fun and enjoy it.”
Things to know:
- Martin Hanzal and Zbynek Michalek both sat out of Saturday nights game again. Both are day-to-day with upper body injuries. It has not been announced when they will return.
- Michael Stone and Zbynek Michalek both have brothers that played as opposition for the Ottawa Senators in Saturday’s game. Michalek’s brother Milan scored a power play goal and Stone’s brother Mark had an assist.
- Coyotes play the San Jose Sharks on the fifth game of their longest home-stand of the season on Tuesday, January 13th.