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Chayka: No goalie controversy for Coyotes despite Hill’s impressive run

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill (31) stops a shot from Nate Thompson, left, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The role of No. 1 goaltender has been a battle of attrition this season for the Arizona Coyotes.

Top goalie Antti Raanta has missed several games due to injury. Backup Darcy Kuemper recently went on injured reserve with a lower body injury.

That left an opportunity for Adin Hill, the Coyotes’ third-string goalie with four games of NHL experience to his name entering this season.

The 22-year-old has taken his chance, leading the Coyotes to a four-game win streak and has surrendered just two goals during that time.

He was named the NHL’s second star of the week on Monday following his impressive run.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station despite Hill’s recent run of success, he doesn’t anticipate a goalie controversy to develop.

“[Hill] is playing well. It’s nice to see,” Chayka said. “I don’t know if it’s a controversy. To see his development over the years and how he’s playing is a positive sign for our organization.”

Chayka believes it’s a necessity to have three quality goalies, which could bode well for Hill staying on the NHL level even after Raanta and Kuemper return.

Since entering for an injured Raanta last Tuesday in Minnesota, Hill has made 84 saves on 86 attempts.

He has led the Coyotes to wins over likely playoff teams like the Wild and Nashville Predators, and three of the four wins have come on the road.

Hill’s save percentage (.977) far outdoes either Raanta (.906) or Kuemper (.914) and he has as many wins as Kuemper and one less than Raanta despite playing in half as many games.

“We’re in a performance-based industry,” Chayka said. “We’ve had some injuries and underperformance at times whether it’s been goalies or other players.

“To have a young guy step in who has got a good track record, it gets your attention. Credit to him. I think we need all three [goalies].

Doug & Wolf

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