How Can the Arizona Coyotes Improve as a Team?

The Arizona Coyotes are sitting at the bottom of the Central Division in the National Hockey League (NHL) in the 2021/22 season. 

At the time of writing, they have 45 points from 66 games and are 13 points behind the Chicago Blackhawks, one place above them.

At present the betting is frequently looking to be against the Coyotes in their match ups and a list of Arizona betting sites can be found with the latest odds going into each game.

Changes are needed

The Playoffs are not a realistic goal this year and some revision to the squad, as well as how they are playing, will be needed. 

This season has been poor amongst all the off-ice issues circulating around the team. Their time in Arizona seems to be coming to an end with the City of Glendale, where they are based, currently saying they will not be allowing them to play at the Gila River Arena next season.

The Coyotes have been mismanaged and mishandled for years, dropping into bankruptcy in 2009, where the NHL had to carry the side till its eventual resale in 2013. They have been one of hockey’s biggest headaches and lowest valued side for some time and with nowhere to call home next season, these distractions seem to consistently take a toll on the team.

In January, 3 months into the season, the Coyotes took a two-goal lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. This was the first time in the season so far that they had led by two goals in a game. It took 32 games for them to establish a two-goal lead which shows the issues they have.

Reflection

The Coyotes looked to reset at the beginning of the season and wanted to start over with a new look on personnel. They traded away Darcy Kuemper, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Christian Dvorak, Conor Garland, and a number of others in a bid to freshen up the squad and look to the future.

With these departures and a number of injuries, things have not gone well on the ice. They were thought to be trading away veteran Phil Kessel though his salary became an issue for other teams, and he will leave for free at the end of the season. 

They have kept hold of Jakob Chychurn who is an elite defenseman and, on a team friendly deal, though it will be highly unlikely he will be on the team again next season. There were many sides interested and he will do what he can to perform for the Coyotes for the remainder of the season before his impending departure.

New signings and resigning’s show where the Coyotes are looking to go next season. Jack McBain is coming in on an entry level contract from Boston College where the 22-year-old just finished his fourth season. The contract is for two years and brings a forward in with strength and good skill.

25-year-old goalkeeper Karel Vejmelka has signed a new three-year contract extension after being named the sides number one. The Czech goalkeeper tied the NHL record for most saves in a first career shutout with 46 against Winnipeg this season.He is showing he is a player that can have a strong future and is a player the team. Can be built around as they go through the changes. 

The Positives

The strengths that General Manager Bill Armstrong sees in his side is the hard work they are all putting in to training and games. They may not have the most talented squad, but they work as hard and are as competitive as anyone in the league.

Rebuilding includes creating the environment and philosophy the team will live by its identity. They have lost big to some teams which just have better talent on its roster, but they are creating a team identity which won’t include a lot of the players currently in Arizona.

They have a large amount of rookie talent on the defense which means they are learning on the job when it comes to adapting to the NHL. It will take time and this season is showing wins will be hard to come by at times. 

Forward Nick Shmaltz has grown into the season and his performances have helped pick up the team as well as the enthusiasm of the supporters. Travis Boyd has also been playing well and is having a career high season, scoring more than 10 goals and over 20 points, as of writing he is on 12 goals and 27 points.

The Coyotes have so much to contend with this season, and no doubt into the offseason as well. Things will not always run smooth, as they themselves have been showing for some time. They are trying to build a new way of playing while also making huge changes in personnel, only time will tell how they fare.

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