Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has a reason for why his team has been inconsistent this season and it might surprise you: Questionable leadership.
Before you start pointing the finger at Shane Doan, as Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic shares, Maloney says it’s a team-wide problem.
“I really look at it and say it comes back to the leadership in your locker room,” Maloney said. “This is not a condemnation of (captain) Shane (Doan). I’m not pointing a finger at Shane whatsoever. This is the collective group … this group that’s been here for the last four, five years, that knows how we have to play and the focus we have to put in to have that group drag along the rest of the players. And that’s what has me doing a lot of soul searching right now.”
Doan hasn’t been the same player since returning from Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Before that, he was playing some of the best hockey of his career. Pointing the finger at him would’ve been rough.
The Coyotes have the same number of points as the Dallas Stars, but the Stars have the tiebreaker edge on the Coyotes for the final wild card spot. If Phoenix can find that consistency they’re lacking, they’ll be a tough opponent in the postseason.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.