The Arizona Coyotes went into their Sunday matinee game against the Carolina Hurricanes with a small amount of momentum. After a four game losing streak they managed to come from behind and force the New York Rangers into overtime. With just over 30 seconds left Derek Stepan scored the game winner against his former team. Unfortunately the script for Sunday was the same that its been far too many times this season. The Coyotes got some solid goaltending from Adin Hill, but the offense wasn’t there and the Yotes were shut out again, losing 3-0.
Inconsistent offense has been a story for the Coyotes this entire season. They were shut out three of their first four games, but they seemed to turn things around after that. But they have been shut out two more times since then and in 15 games they have been held to two or fewer goals. Combine the lack of offense with a bottom ten power play and its easy to see why the Coyotes are second to last in goals scored this season.
After missing the playoffs the last two seasons the New York Islanders had one of the biggest offseason. John Tavares became an unrestricted free agent and signed with his boyhood team the Toronto Maple Leafs. New York brought in a new GM in Lou Lamoriello and managed to bring in Barry Trotz fresh off winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals. With significant gains and losses it wasn’t clear how the Islanders would fair this season, but they are surprisingly competitive.
The Islanders and the Coyotes actually have a lot in common but there are key differences. Despite scoring only seven more goals then the Coyotes this season the Islanders are still deep in a race for a playoff spot. They have a lot of competition though and the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, and Detroit Red Wings are only a point back. Like the Coyotes they have been pretty stingy though, and have allowed one fewer goal. They actually have a worse power play then the Coyotes, and a much worse penalty kill.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Adin Hill – With the Coyotes offense being what it is the Coyotes are going to need great goaltending to be competitive. Luckily Hill has really impressed in his callup from the Tucson Roadrunners.
New York: Mathew Barzal – Despite losing their best player to free agency the Islanders still have Barzal who is having a stellar sophomore season. He has five points in his last three games
Will the Coyotes offense show up tonight?
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