Coyotes head into All-Star break on three-game win streak

AP
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Their chances of making the playoffs are basically nil, but the Arizona Coyotes are feeling a lot better about themselves after going into the All-Star break on a three-game win streak.

The Coyotes put together a defensive masterpiece Thursday in a 3-0 win over Vancouver. Forget about surrendering a goal, the Canucks didn’t even get their first shot until the ninth minute of the second period.

“You look at our young players, and they’re starting to play like good NHL players,” head coach Dave Tippett told the Arizona Republic. “When you get that, your team looks like a better team.”

It wasn’t that long ago that veteran neminder Mike Smith tore into the Coyotes after a lackluster loss in Edmonton.

And now?

“We definitely have played better as of late and it’s definitely calmed the workload down for me significantly,” Smith told reporters Thursday. “That just shows the good things we’ve done in front of me and the work we’ve put in to get better.”

Lawson Crouse, 19, got the winner against the Canucks. He’s racked up seven shots in the last three games.

Alexander Burmistrov, 25, tallied the insurance marker. He now has six points (1G, 5A) in six games since being claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets.

Tobias Rieder, 25, and Christian Fischier, 19, have also been finding the back of the net.

 

It’s a good thing the youngsters are starting to find their way, because the Coyotes could soon be unloading some veterans. Shane Doan, Martin Hanzal, and Radim Vrbata are all pending unrestricted free agents who could be sold as rentals before March 1.