Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Phoenix Coyotes Struggling to Put the Puck in the Net

In the past few seasons the Phoenix Coyotes have always lacked offense. They have recently taken that lack of offense to a whole other level.

In the four games since the all-star break the Coyotes have scored a combined total of four goals. It is safe to say they lost all of those games. There are a few reasons why there is a lack of offense on the Coyotes behalf.

The first reason is their absolutely dreadful powerplay. Their powerplay currently ranks second last in the league with dismal 13.1% success rate. The Coyotes are currently on a 0-19 run on the powerplay. That is simply unacceptable.

Head Coach Wayne Gretzky had the team recently in practice work mainly on their weak powerplay, so far none of that work is showing.

One of the reasons their powerplay isn’t working like it should be is their lack of puck control. One of the best ways to gain puck control is by winning faceoff’s.

The Coyotes are the leagues worse faceoff team. They have a dismal 43.6% faceoff winning percentage. To put it in perspective the second worse face off team, the Dallas Stars have a full 5% higher faceoff winning percentage.

The Coyotes lack any real good faceoff men. It’s too bad they don’t have Yanic Perrault anymore because he could sure teach the Coyotes a thing or two on how to win a faceoff.

Another reason they are struggling to score goals is because they recently have had injuries to a couple of key offensive contributors. Both Peter Mueller and Steven Reinprecht are out with injuries.

They are currently third and fourth respectively on the Coyotes in points. The Coyotes sure do miss both of these key players.

Lastly the Coyotes are just not getting enough production of their star off season acquisition in Olli Jokinen. He is currently on pace for a 54 point season, his worst point total since the 2001-02 season.

That is just way too low for a guy who has the potential and has shown he can score 90+ points. He is not helping on the powerplay or at the faceoff dot either.

The NHL Western Conference is very tight especially from the fifth to the eighth position. If the Coyotes can’t start scoring more goals they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.


MJ Kasprzak said...

I remember at the beginning of the year I said you would miss the playoffs (despite being better than the Avs who I had in because of a projected easier schedule) because you don't have enough forward depth. In response, you mentioned Jokinen and I replied that he was an underachiever. For all he was supposed to do, he's had like two good seasons. Obviously, he will get more points when Mueller is back (and maybe even Reinprecht, since that will spread the opposition D out), but don't expect him to pass 60 points.

On the other hand, we all knew your D and goaltending was first-rate. It just seems this year scoring is needed to win. As of a couple days ago, the top nine teams in the league in point percentage are all top ten in scoring. I think only three of us were top ten in goals against.

I thought y'all would get in, but now with the Stars and Ducks resurging, I doubt it. Just as I had originally foreseen, there is just too much depth in the Pacific.

MJ Kasprzak said...

Check that--I think that conversation about Jokinen was with Gootzman.

Cameron Paul said...

If you asked me a 2 weeks ago if I thought the Coyotes would make the playoffs I would of said yes. Now I not so sure. Losing 5 games in a row is a real killer to their playoff hopes. Like you said there is just too much depth in the pacific. The Coyotes must win on Saturday against the Hurricanes so they can try to keep up with the tight playoff race in the west.

MJ Kasprzak said...

Well, we took the to a shootout to make them as tired as possible for you. And of course we lost to make it take that much longer before we officially clinch.

I still think you guys are a better team than Edmonton, Columbus, and Vancouver. But yeah, I think one of them will end up in front of you.

I heard y'all are going to lose $45 million this year? Do you not sell out? I imagine hockey is still not that popular in the desert...