GM Armstrong likes how Arizona Coyotes have quickly improved early in season

Oct 20, 2022, 2:35 PM

Shayne Gostisbehere #14 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs du...

Shayne Gostisbehere #14 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 17, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Coyotes defeated the Maple Leafs 4-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Early into the season, general manager Bill Armstrong likes what he’s seeing from the Arizona Coyotes.

“I’ve been happy with how our team has gotten better with every game,” Armstrong told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “… Right now our power play is really executing at a high level and that’s giving us a chance to win games and be in games.”

Arizona, which lost its first two games at Pittsburgh and then Boston, earned its first win by beating host Toronto 4-2 on Monday.

It was the third of six consecutive road games to start the season, which may be a blessing in disguise for a team void of superstars and that needs team chemistry and unity more than most clubs

“The team that we have – we’re not ultra-talented with finesse players — but what we are is we’ve got some size and we can certainly outwork and outhustle and outgrind teams,” Armstrong said.

All eyes have been on rookie forward Dylan Guenther, 19, early in the season, and Armstrong said the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft has not looked overwhelmed on NHL ice.

Guenther has posted an assist and averaged 13:03 of time on ice through two games.

“He’s a smart hockey player,” Armstrong said. “He might be one of the smartest players I’ve seen in a long time … He finds ways to win the puck. He finds ways to get offensive chances.”

Armstrong said he expects Guenther to start scoring goals once he adjusts to the speed of the NHL game and his mind stops racing.

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GM Armstrong likes how Arizona Coyotes have quickly improved early in season