ARIZONA COYOTES

Arizona Coyotes ranked with NHL’s worst goaltending tandem

Oct 5, 2022, 9:45 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
Goaltender Karel Vejmelka #70 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against the ...
Goaltender Karel Vejmelka #70 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against the New Jersey Devils at Gila River Arena on April 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes allowed the third-most goals in the NHL last season.

Arizona gave up a total of 309, which averaged out to a 3.77-per-game clip. Those metrics only bested the Detroit Red Wings’ 310 (3.78) and Montreal Canadiens’ 317 (3.87).

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Tuesday deemed the Coyotes to have the league’s worst goaltending tandem in his rankings heading into the 2022-23 season.

The good news for the Coyotes is that their goaltending won’t thwart the “Tank Hard for Bedard” plan they’ve seemingly implemented this season.

Karel Vejmelka had a minus-23.2 goals saved above expected last season. After missing out on Charlie Lindgren as a free agent, it looked like the Coyotes might have Ivan Prosvetov, who needs to spend another full season in the AHL, and Jon Gillies as their backups. But GM Bill Armstrong was ready for the waiver wire to provide him another option and claimed (Jonas) Johansson from the Colorado Avalanche. He had a negative-13 goals saved above average in just 11 games last season.

Wyshynski also took a dig at the team’s goaltending by eluding to where the Coyotes will be playing for at least the next three seasons.

The Sun Devils men’s team might have the best goaltending at Arizona State’s Mullett Arena this season.

The Coyotes claimed Johansson from the Avs on Friday, marking his fourth different NHL team since making his debut in 2019. He has a .882 save percentage, one shutout and a 9-13-4 record in 32 career appearances.

Vejmelka played 52 games for the Coyotes last year en route to a 13-32-3 record. In that span, the goaltender posted a 3.68 goals against average and .898 save percentage.

The situation did him no favors, as he saw a lot of action in net. He finished with 1,499 saves, which were the 14th-most in the NHL a season ago.

Four recent Arizona goaltenders found themselves on ESPN’s rankings list, two of whom are on teams who cracked the top 10: Antii Raanta (No. 4 Carolina Hurricanes) and Darcy Kuemper (No. 6 Washington Capitals).

Scott Wedgewood and Adin Hill were the other two on teams that ranked No. 14 (Dallas Stars) and No. 24 (Vegas Golden Knights), respectively.

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Arizona Coyotes ranked with NHL’s worst goaltending tandem