It’s hard not to feel for the Arizona Coyotes right now. While the Blues are off to a stellar 12-3-1 start this season, the Coyotes practically have the inverse of a record: 2-13-2, good for dead last in the NHL by four points. It’s still early in the season, but it’s difficult to snap out of the kind of funk that you see Arizona currently in. The season seems irredeemable.
Across the roster, there are problems. The Coyotes have a -26 goal differential. Despite Chesterfield’s own Clayton Keller’s standout start to the season (11 goals, 6 assists), the rest of the offense is anemic. The next highest goal scorer is Christian Fischer with four.
Goaltending? It could be a lot worse, all things considered:
To put it bluntly, the team is a holy mess, and they’re facing a Blues team that has not only beat them 11 games in a row, but which is also off to the best start in franchise history.
The line of Jaden Schwartz, Luke Schenn, and Vladimir Tarasenko is one of the best in the NHL right now. Don’t believe me? Ask Alex Tanguay:
Ask other teams’ goalies, too - all three of them rank in the NHL’s top twenty for scoring (Schwartz is third, Tarasenko is sixth, and Schenn is 16th). Tuesday evening they were responsible for every Blues point - three goals and four assists) in the team’s victory over the very good New Jersey Devils.
The Coyotes will have their hands full tonight.
There is no such thing as an easy win in today’s NHL - ask any team. For right now, though, it looks as though the Coyotes are as close as you can get to that. Either they fix their scoring and defensive problems, or they’ll wind up as the NHL’s whipping child for the season.