The Yotes are finally back in town after a grueling 14-game road trip that lasted from Nov 5th to Dec 7th.
The squad started the trip strong with three consecutive, which brought their win percentage to 0.5 at one point. However, the team could only secure one more win in the next 11 games. Overall, the Coyotes went 4-7-3 during this trip. Now, the Coyotes are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and find themselves where most people expected- near the bottom of the standings.
Some of the trip highlights include
- Three consecutive wins to start.
- Upsetting the Carolina Hurricanes with a 4-0 win.
- The father’s trip to Nashville and Carolina.
- The return of Jakob Chychrun who has been on fire. Since his return, Chychrun has 3G- 4A- 7 Pts in 8 GP with +/- rating of four.
- Jusso Valimaki playing in his 100th career NHL game.
- Clayton Keller being the first Coyote to record his 20th point within 19 games since Ladislav Nagy in 2003/04.
- Karel Vejmelka. Need I say more? Veggie was in net for all the road trip wins and has allowed the Coyotes to remain competitive during those games.
It’s clear that the Coyotes got worn out and tired, early on during the trip. Away games are never easy as players are sleeping in a different bed, not in the comfort of their own homes, and forced to readjust themselves to a different routine and environment. Aside from the fact that the Coyotes started the road trip with three consecutive wins, the team only allowed three goals during those three games. Then, the team allowed four goals on average for the next eight games, the one outlier being the fifth game when they had that 4-0 win over Carolina. The defensive game improved as they embarked on the Canadian portion of the road trip by only allowing three goals in Vancouver and Calgary before they got abysmally destroyed by Edmonton in an 8-2 loss. But this big loss is likely a result of exhaustion and fatigue.
One positive note of the road trip is that offense was never a significant concern. The Coyotes never got shutout and there were only two games in which they only scored one goal. Another upside is that the team (likely) did a lot of team bonding, especially since they did visit multiple popular road trip destinations like New York, Nashville, Vegas, and Vancouver. Team comradery is needed for a strong team. So hopefully the boys got to connect and know each other more and they can show their improved team chemistry moving forth.
Road trips are not easy, especially when it is record-tying and span over a month. Although the Coyotes had a losing record, there were some positive notes and hopefully, the players were able to do some good off-ice bonding and are able to build off the team bonding.