Coyotes veterans aren’t supporting young guns with offense
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nobody was expecting the Coyotes to finish 82-0, but Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild — Arizona’s first of the season — highlighted an emerging problem. The young guys are doing all the heavy offensive lifting.
Through four games, Arizona has scored 13 goals. Rookie Anthony Duclair leads the team with four of them, rookie Max Domi has three, second-year forward Tobias Rieder has two and rookie forward Jordan Martinook has one. The other three goals belong to defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Michael Stone and Zbynek Michalek.
“They’re doing their job,” coach Dave Tippett said. “I’d like to see a few other guys chip in and help out a little bit. There’s a middle tier and a veteran tier that can jump in and help out, too.”
Of the key veterans, center Martin Hanzal has seven assists to tie for the league lead in that department, but captain Shane Doan has one assist and no goals, right wing Mikkel Boedker has just one assist and centers Antoine Vermette and Brad Richardson have no points.
“Once they come they’re going to come in bunches but we obviously we all have to chip in. We can’t have Max and Duke doing all the offense,” Boedker said. “They’ve got to keep doing it but we’ve got to follow up and do it as well.
“We’ve a lot of try right now but no finish.”
Minnesota had five days off after its last game on Saturday to rest up while the Coyotes played Wednesday in Anaheim. Compounding that problem was Minnesota’s speed, which the Wild used to jump on the leg-weary Coyotes for two quick goals midway through the first period from Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek.
With the Coyotes trailing 3-0 in the second period, Domi set up Duclair’s fourth goal in two games on a brilliant pass to cut the lead to 3-1.
“That first goal was pretty ridiculous,” Wild goalie and former Coyote Devan Dubnyk said. “Those guys are going to be pretty exciting in this building.”
Duclair’s goal pulled him into a tie for the rookie lead in goals and the league lead in rookie points (6), but his counterpart matched his brilliance.
Down 4-1 late in the second period, Domi scored a highlight reel goal when he batted a puck out of the air, stickhandled around Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon and beat Dubnyk through the five-hole with 9.4 seconds left to give Arizona hope heading to the third period.
Stone drew the Coyotes within one in 4-on-4 play with 4:48 to play in the game, but Arizona couldn’t cash in another chip and finished the game 0-for-7 on the power play. Arizona is 1-for-20 with the man advantage this season and saw its bid for the first 4-0 start in franchise history dashed.
“We’ve got to get some rest,” Tippett said. “We like some of the things we’ve done but there’s still lots to do; we have lots to work on. We’ll get some rest tomorrow and get ready for Boston (on Saturday).”