Compared to the attention surprise teams like the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames have received early this season, the Phoenix Coyotes have been relatively ignored. But in case you haven’t noticed (which is kind of the point of this post), the Desert Dogs are off to a pretty decent start themselves.
On Sunday, Phoenix won its third straight, dumping Carolina, 5-3, in Raleigh. With the win, the Coyotes improved to 4-2-0, which is a decent record by itself, and even more impressive considering they’ve only played one home game, their season-opening 4-1 thrashing of the Rangers.
It hasn’t been all roses, of course. Prior to their current winning streak, the Coyotes got smoked 4-1 in San Jose and 6-1 on Long Island.
“The last three games we’ve stabilized,” head coach Dave Tippett said, per azcentral.com. “It seems like players know exactly now what’s expected.”
True to form when the Coyotes are winning games, there isn’t one player that’s doing it all. Nine of them have three points or more; 11 have scored at least one goal.
Goaltending has been a strength as well, with Mike Smith and Thomas Greiss combining for a .917 save percentage.
Phoenix has a good chance to get another W tonight when it returns home to host struggling Ottawa.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.