After the tank battle that was Arizona vs Montreal, the Coyotes were set to play the New Jersey Devils. Now as a fan, it was expected that the Coyotes would not even have a chance at winning this game as the only consecutive wins they had this season, were two overtime victories back in November. However, the 9-24-4 Coyotes took advantage of a game against the 14-18-5 Devils, outscoring them four to one. When looking at the shots against category, the Devils dominated outshooting the Coyotes 36 to 17, however, that’s about all that the Devils did well in this game.
Arizona was not looking too good after the first period after letting in a goal from Nico Hischier, with no response from the Coyotes. However, the second period would prove to be a very eventful one, as the Coyotes would go on to score three unanswered goals from Dysin Mayo, Lawson Crouse, and Travis Boyd. In the third period, Johan Larson would put one more in the net to seal up the Coyotes tenth win of the season. The true hero of the game was goaltender Karel Vejmelka, who allowed only one goal on 36 shots. Vejmelka had a.970 save percentage, bringing his season average up to .910 and a 3.1 goals allowed average. Karel has been Arizona’s diamond in the rough after being drafted back in 2015 by the Nashville Predators.
Winning this game puts the Coyotes three points ahead of Montreal in the season standings, and ties them with Ottowa (who have played six fewer games). As it stands, young star Clayton Keller leads the team in points (30) and goals (14), in 38 games. The last time we saw Keller put up points at a similar rate was during his rookie season back in 2017-2018 when he had 65 points in 82 games. Behind Keller is Phil Kessel with 27 points, and a mere 5 goals. Kessel is someone who is almost always brought up when talking about trade deadline rumors.
This Coyotes roster was not designed to win games, Instead, its purpose was to get a lower draft pick, Whilst also giving some of our younger players a confidence boost. Keller is a prime example, as he has fallen into the team leader role quite well. To sum up, the Coyotes are a bad team, that can somehow still find a way to squeeze out the odd win, and are now 3-2 in their last five games. This means 30% of their wins have come in the last eight days, and there is no way to tell what the second half of the season is going to look like.