Coyotes drop eighth straight on home ice


The Arizona Coyotes have dropped eight straight on home ice and seven of their last eight overall following a 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators Thursday night.

Antoine Vermette opened the scoring with his seventh of the season just over four minutes into the first; however, it was all Nashville after that.

Mike Fisher, James Neal and Ryan Ellis scored first period goals to give the Preds a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Calle Jarnkrok and Olli Jokinen added third period goals for Nashville. The Predators have now won back to back games and both meetings with the Coyotes.

“We’ve done everything from practice hard to video to anything you can imagine trying to get us out of it,” said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. “Ultimately, we have to get on the ice and get the job done if we’re going to get the results we want. Just 1-on-1 battles that we’re losing, and that’s unacceptable. We’ll just keep trying to find people to win those battles. We’re not finding the results we want so the frustration continues to build.

“But until we turn that frustration into mental resolve and getting the job done, more frustration will pile up.”

Mike Smith stopped 33 shots in the loss while Pekka Rinne picked up the win making 31 saves.

Tippett wants Coyotes to show him how much they hate losing


Losers of seven straight at home, the Arizona Coyotes will try to avoid an eighth consecutive defeat tonight against the Nashville Predators.

According to coach Dave Tippett, it’s time for the ‘Yotes to turn words into action.

“We’ve done lots and lots of talking this year, but it’s about doing,” he said, per “If you really hate to lose, show me how much you hate it. It’s as simple as that.”

Meanwhile, trade rumors continue to swirl around defenseman Keith Yandle, as well as pending unrestricted free agent center Antoine Vermette.

TSN/NBC’s Bob McKenzie reported earlier this week (video) that Yandle’s name “continues to come up. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. … The Detroit Red Wings, amongst others, interested in him.”

And, of course, there remain questions about Arizona’s ownership situation, with some reports suggesting the deal to sell a majority share of the franchise to Andrew Barroway is dead, though those reports have been denied by the team and league.

Suffice to say, tickets to tonight’s game are a rather cold commodity. StubHub has a pair listed for $5.10, with lower-bowl seats going for as little as $16.99.

Maloney likes Coyotes’ chemistry, but ‘we’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business’

In the wake of last week’s shakeup — trading Rob Klinkhammer, waiving Kyle Chipchura, demoting David Schlemko — Arizona GM Don Maloney took a look at his roster.

While he still liked the group dynamic, he also realized that doesn’t count for much.

“We need to show hopefully small improvement, and I think it’s really our execution,” Maloney said, per the Arizona Republic. “I still think we have a top-level coaching staff. I think our team chemistry is good but what does that mean?

“We’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business.”

The results haven’t been there lately for Arizona. The club has just two wins in its last 10 and is mired in a seven-game losing streak at home, all of which has seen the Coyotes plummet to 13th in the Western Conference. While Arizona isn’t throwing in the towel on this season and the playoffs, it does appear as though a youth movement is underway.

Which brings us to assets currently on Arizona’s roster.

On Tuesday, Maloney acknowledged that the still-pending Coyotes sale — reports of a dead deal with Andrew Barroway surfaced yesterday, only for Coyotes ownership to say everything’s still on track — have hamstrung him with regards to offering new contracts to his players.

“I don’t want to say halt the process, but slow down the process in regards to anybody we might want to talk contractually going forward,” is how Maloney described the situation.

Two of the biggest names on Arizona’s contractual front are Antoine Vermette (a pending UFA) and Keith Yandle (one year remaining on his deal). Vermette’s already at the center of trade talks; Yandle’s been in the rumor mill for a while, and could be the top defensive target at the trade deadline, should Maloney make him available.

As such, the formula seems simple: If the Coyotes don’t get the results, the group — no matter how well it gets along — will likely be broken up.

Coyotes coach calls on a goalie to ‘take the ball and run with it’


For a while there, it seemed like Devan Dubnyk was the go-to goalie for the Arizona Coyotes, only the team struggled to reconcile sitting far more expensive goalie Mike Smith.

Maybe that’s still the case to some extent, yet Dubnyk’s been shaky enough in his last three starts that things seem that much more broadly troubling for the Coyotes.

From the sound of things, head coach Dave Tippett simply wants one of the two netminders to grab the job, as the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.

“If one of them wants to take the ball and run with it and win a bunch of games, I’m all good with that,” Tippett said.

Dubnyk, for one, thinks that the Coyotes are giving the kind of effort to make waves if they can get their netminding in order.

“It’s the effort that we’ve been looking for as a group in here and you don’t want to be the reason that we’re on the wrong end of it,” Dubnyk said.

The Coyotes are the second-worst team in the West right now with 23 standings points in 28 games played, and to add insult to injury, they’re on an unsettling losing streak at home. Their odds to make the playoffs already look pretty low, but they need at least one of Smith or Dubnyk to turn things around to at least make it interesting.

Goalie nods: Luongo hopes to blank Buffalo once again

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Bobby Lou loves facing Buffalo

As many point out, Roberto Luongo has really pumped up his numbers against the Buffalo Sabres lately, as he carries a three-game shutout streak into Saturday’s game. That streak includes his past two starts versus Buffalo as a member of the Florida Panthers, so it’s not merely a matter of his days with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo’s been quite effective for Florida, in general, even if he hasn’t always received the best bounces (judging by the six in his 8-5-6 record). His .924 save percentage is a strong argument that he can make things work under most circumstances, even as people focus on a contract even he grew to hate.

The Sabres rode a hot streak with Jhonas Enroth pretty recently, yet it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the nod today.

Elsewhere …

Flyers at Kings: Steve Mason for sure on Philly’s end, probably Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles.

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby seems most likely, Cory Scheider for sure.

Canucks at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed.

Rangers at Red Wings: Cam Talbot vs. Jimmy Howard.

Canadiens at Stars: Likely Carey Price vs. Kari Lehtonen.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Ben Bishop.

Blackhawks at Pekka Rinne: Best guess right now is Scott Darling vs. Pekka Rinne.

Bruins at Coyotes: Possibly Tuukka Rask, definitely Devan Dubnyk.

Sharks at Flames: Expected Antti Niemi vs. Karri Ramo.