Video: Little’s shootout winner lifts the Jets over the Coyotes

Bryan Little scored in the third round of the shootout and Ondrej Pavelec made 28 saves as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 Sunday night.

The win extends the Jets streak to four games. Winnipeg has also won five of six and took two of three meetings with Arizona this season.

Arizona has now lost five straight.

Sunday concluded a stretch of seven games in 11 days for the Jets. They’ll have a much-needed day off on Monday.

Little opened the scoring in the first period with his team-leading 18th of the season. Michael Frolik and Dustin Byfuglien had the other goals for the Jets, who tied their Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks with 58 points.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Lauri Korpikoski and Tobias Rieder scored for the Coyotes.

Sunday marked the return of captain Shane Doan to the Arizona lineup. Doan missed two games because of a lower-body injury. He finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in nearly 22 minutes of ice time.

Arizona could be without the services of forward Mikkel Boedker when they continue a season-high eight-game road trip Tuesday in Chicago.

Mike Smith made 27 saves in the loss.

Coyotes’ poor play ‘falls directly on us leaders,’ says Doan


The Arizona Coyotes are experiencing leadership problems this season — just ask them.

Or, read the following quotes from AZCentral:

“Our inconsistency has probably been the most glaring weakness and that pretty much falls directly on us leaders in the room.” — Shane Doan

“I think the leadership has obviously got to step up — that’s the guys we count on every night and that’s the guys we need to step up right now because it’s a bad situation.” — Martin Hanzal

“(The veterans) have to do their job. They can’t just be a nice guy off the ice. They have to actually do the job and be respected on the ice.” — Dave Tippett

It’s clear something’s been wrong in Arizona through the first half of the season (and you could replace “something” with “lots of things.”) Mike Smith has been a nightmare in goal, the players have seemingly abandoned Tippett’s defensive approach and GM Don Maloney’s already played his shake-it-up card when, in the hours following an ugly loss to L.A. in December, he waived Kyle Chipchura, traded Rob Klinkhammer and sent David Schlemko to the minors.

But those were all peripheral moves that affected fringe guys, not core ones. With these recent quotes about leadership issues and underachieving veterans, you have to wonder what’s next.

Antoine Vermette, as we’ve documented thoroughly, could be on the move. Keith Yandle has been on the block for ages and could be again as we draw closer to the March trade deadline, and the Coyotes went out of their way to address Doan rumors via Twitter last week (which many saw as a “you doth protest too much” moment.)

Other veterans could be on the block as well. Martin Erat, David Moss and Zbynek Michalek are all on the wrong side of 30 and UFAs at season’s end; next year, Doan and Yandle are up. With Arizona sitting 13th in the Western Conference and primed to miss the playoffs for a third straight year, the question has to be asked: Is now the time to break up the core?

Boedker’s three point night leads the Coyotes past the Jets

Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist and captain Shane Doan added a goal and two helpers as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 Thursday night.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson had Arizona’s other goal as the Coytoes rebounded from an ugly 6-0 loss to the Blues Tuesday night.

Mathieu Perreault had the lone Jets’ goal while Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves in the loss.

Mike Smith saw his record improve to 7-16-2 with a 34 save performance.

Coyotes use Easter Bunny to shoot down Shane Doan trade rumors


From the Arizona Coyotes:

The @SportsHubAZ Twitter account maintains that it is run by one Casey Gagnon, an “Arizona native, ASU grad, professional sports writer and history buff.”

Full disclosure: on Dec. 30, we cited Gagnon’s report that the Coyotes’ sale to Andrew Barroway was on the verge of closing. Which it did, on Dec. 31.

And so, given he was right about that, we admit to have been following Gagnon’s tweets about Coyotes captain Shane Doan.

A sampling:

Granted, those tweets don’t mesh with Doan told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun in mid-December: “When I made the decision a few years ago to stay with the team at 36 (years old), I said: ‘You know what? This is the bed I’m sleeping in. This is what I want.”

But considering the current state of the Coyotes, we’ll go ahead and keep monitoring the situation anyway.

Just to be safe.

Barroway calls rumors of flipping Coyotes ‘completely untrue’


The Coyotes have gone from the team that no one seemed to want to a franchise that’s adding on a new majority owner roughly 18 months after IceArizona bought them from the NHL. Andrew Barroway sat down with the Coyotes’ leadership this afternoon to introduce himself to the public after the NHL’s board of governors approved his purchase of the Coyotes.

If the theme of the press conference could be summed up in a single word, it would be stability. It’s what the Coyotes desperately wanted after years of being ownerless and waiting to see if the franchise would be moved. At one point the uncertainty surrounding this franchise was so great that even re-signing captain Shane Doan was complicated. But now?

“We have the stability we need to have long-term success,” Don Maloney said, per the Coyotes’ Twitter feed.

Of course, there was speculation that Barroway was interested in flipping the team to someone who would want to put a franchise in Las Vegas, but Barroway, who described being an NHL owner as a childhood dream, shot down those rumors.

“I did not buy this team for a quick flip,” Barroway said. “I want to bring a winner to the Valley.”

The sale of the Coyotes comes at a key time for the Coyotes as the trade deadline is approaching and Maloney needs to decide what to do with Antoine Vermette. His five-year, $18.75 million contract is set to expire this summer and he’s earned a substantial raise thanks to his versatility. He’s generating a lot of interest on the trade market, but the ideal for the Coyotes would likely still be to re-sign him.

“Since day one we’ve been waiting on our ownership to be restructured,” Maloney told PHT on Dec. 22, “and we’ll continue to wait on that, and once it gets restructured we’ll see whether there’s an opportunity to re-sign him or not.”

From a cap perspective, there’s no question that the Coyotes can fit him in even if Vermette expects a big contract, but Arizona has its own internal budget to consider. With Barroway on board, perhaps that’s less of a constraint.

At the same time, Maloney is looking to build the team from the ground up, so even if he has more flexibility, the Coyotes aren’t likely to dramatic increase their payroll in the near term.