By the numbers: Arizona Coyotes’ goal-scoring and penalty kill
The Arizona Coyotes have certainly turned things around from the way they started the season.
When Arizona wrapped up the first game of its first long road trip of the year, its record was 1-4. It had scored just three goals on the season, and a team that lost 11 straight games to start the 2017-18 season was now in danger of having another bad October.
Then, the Coyotes went to Chicago.
It was against the Blackhawks that the Coyotes’ offense came alive for four goals, and since then, the Coyotes haven’t stopped scoring. After a win at home against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, Arizona is riding a four-game win streak into its Friday contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here’s a look at what’s gone right for the Coyotes, by the numbers:
Since the Oct. 18 game in Chicago, the Coyotes have scored 27 goals in six games. They’ve outscored opponents 27-8 in that span, and have allowed more than one goal in a game only once (Oct. 20 at Winnipeg).
Arizona has a plus-3 goal differential on the penalty kill this season, an unsustainable yet incredible figure. The Coyotes have scored six shorthanded goals — the most in the NHL and triple the two shorties they scored last year, which was the fewest total in hockey.
To go with a goal-scoring ability while shorthanded, the Coyotes are also getting the job done shutting other teams down on the PK.
As alluded-to above, the Coyotes’ penalty kill has been sharp: At 90.63 percent, it is the second-most effective PK in the NHL behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Entering Wednesday, the Coyotes’ .932 team save percentage is the second-best mark in the NHL behind only the Colorado Avalanche.
The 21 goals allowed this year by the Coyotes is the fewest in the NHL. The next-best team in this regard is the Avalanche, who have allowed opponents to light the lamp 27 times.
Arizona is allowing an average of 28.0 shots per game, which is the fourth-fewest in the NHL. The Coyotes’ next opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes, is No. 2 in the league of shots against per game with 24.5, and ranks No. 1 in shots per game at a whopping 41.7.
One thing that has not gone right: The power play.
Arizona’s power play percentage is the third-worst in hockey, better only than Vegas and Chicago.
“The PP is too predictable,” coach Rick Tocchet said Monday. “Not a lot of movement. We’re getting the shot, we’ll get a chance, but that’s it. It’s one and done. Most power plays, second- and third-efforts are the goals that score on PPs. Very rarely the first shot or the first play on a power play scores. It’s the second and third effort goals. And we’re not getting that.”