(photo: Dinur Blum)
The Arizona Coyotes gave up yet another game at home to the Calgary Flames Thursday night. The 4-1 loss with Mike Smith in net didn’t come as much of a surprise to the loyal fans, but it was yet again a painful fall.
The game was pretty evenly played for the first two periods, but the Coyotes still struggled with building on a lead. Not being able to generate offense to increase a lead has been one of their continued issues all season, and it just isn’t getting any better.
Boedker heating things up
A second period goal from Mikkel Boedker earned him a new personal record of a 4 game goal streak. He leads the team with 14 goals, the past 5 of which have been on his past 6 shots on goal. Pretty good shooting percentage for the young forward.
“It’s not worth talking about one person when you’re losing or when you’re winning. We are a team in here and everybody has to contribute.It just happens to fall on my stick right now and go in the back of the net.” Boedker said when asked about his goal streak. “We are a team and it’s a team first mentality when Tippett is behind the bench, so that’s the way we play here.”
Fresh face brings good playing style
Recent call-up from Portland, Philip Samuelsson (acquired in a trade for Rob Klinkhammer to the Penguins), played in his first game with the Coyotes on Thursday. He seemed to be fitting in well with the team, and was even a key piece to their penalty kill. #25 was thrown out on the ice for both of the Coyotes penalties.
“It felt pretty good. Obviously it’s nice having good linemen that are steady, and you know exactly what to expect out of them.” Samuelsson commented about his first game. “That surely helps my confidence, and for me it is getting a couple passes early that connect. From there it goes pretty solid.”
Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach talked about Samuelsson saying, “I thought Philip played solid, very steady. He played hard and moved the puck all right. I thought that was a very good first game for him.”
Did the Coyotes make the wrong move?
Obviously, Dave Tippett is going to get questions about the sudden trade of goaltender Devan Dubnyk to the Minnesota Wild. After a shutout on his first game playing with Minnesota, it might have looked like a questionable choice for Arizona.
In hindsight, Dubnyk has the potential to be the #1 goaltender for a team. Factoring in the right elements, such as a strong offense and defense, makes a huge difference in any ‘tenders game play. Coyotes have lacked in both areas this season, there’s no other way to put it. Sending Dubnyk to Minnesota for a potentially beneficial young prospect is honestly a good idea for them in the long run.
GM Don Maloney wants the team to be youthful, and really make the necessary changes for the to be the best, and considering Dubnyk’s contract with the Coyotes was set to expire in the off-season, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Coyotes were able to get a third-round draft pick, and if youth is the direction that they want to go in, then it is highly beneficial for them to make those moves.
“I think it says a lot about what players maybe have been thinking about is going to happen… We’re going to look to do something for the future of the franchise.” Said Tippett on the Dubnyk trade. “Whenever it happens, it takes you back a little bit and that one seemed it happened pretty quick because Minnesota wanted to do something quick. That’s probably the first move in moving some assets to improve the franchise.”
Thoughts from the coach
“There are some psychological (challenges), some frustration, but there is some good in it too. You see some young players really progress and we’re making strides, but over this next part of this season, all of those emotions will be tested. Believe me.” – Dave Tippett