GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes won’t be going to the playoffs next week, but there are still a number of milestones within reach for the team as it concludes the regular season with a four-game road trip through St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville and San Jose.
Max Domi achieved a couple of those on Saturday. He set the Coyotes rookie record for assists in a 3-0 win over Washington with his 32nd and 33rd helpers to eclipse Peter Mueller’s record. His 12th multi-point game also surpassed Mueller’s 11 for the most multi-point games in a season by a Coyotes rookie.
Here’s a look at some other team and individual milestones achieved or within reach.
— With 132 points from their rookies through 78 games, the Coyotes’ first-year players have notched the second-most points in Coyotes history by a rookie class. Arizona is still 25 points shy of the 157 points posted by the 2006-07 team, 13 goals shy of the record of 63 set by that same class, and 12 assists shy of the 94 set by the 2006-07 group.
— Domi is three points shy of tying Mueller’s Coyotes rookie record for points in a season (54).
— Rookie Anthony Duclair needs three goals to tie Mueller’s Coyotes rookie record for goals (22).
— The Coyotes have improved by 21 points thus far this season. That is the second-best improvement to date, only trailing Buffalo’s 23-point improvement, per Elias research. The Coyotes close with four games on the road. The Sabres close with road games against the Devils and Islanders and a home game against the Blue Jackets. The NHL record for the greatest single-season improvement in points is 58, set by San Jose from the 1991-92 season to the 1992-93 season.
— Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is two goals shy of his career-high set last season with 23. He is one goal shy of Fredrik Olausson’s franchise record for power-play goals (13) by a defenseman in a single season. Ekman-Larsson has already set a career-high in points this season with 52.
— He’ll need a torrid finish, but with three goals in his last four games, captain Shane Doan can reach the 30-goal plateau for the third time in his 20-year career and the first time since 2008-09, when he set a career-high with 31 goals in 82 games. Doan has missed 10 games this season. Had he played a few more, he might have eclipsed that goal total.
— Doan is also just five assists shy of Thomas Steen’s franchise record of 553.
— Goalie Mike Smith has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his seven games over that span and has posted two shutouts — a 44-save blanking of Edmonton in his first game back and a 31-save white-washing of Washington on Saturday. In those seven games, Smith has stopped 225 of 234 shots for a .962 save percentage to raise his season save percentage to .918. If that number holds or improves, it would be the second-highest save percentage of his NHL career for a single season, topped only by the landmark 2011-12 season when had a .930 mark.
Coyotes at Blues
When: Monday, 5 p.m.
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus
Radio: ESPN 620 AM
Season series: St. Louis leads, 2-0.
Probable goalies: Blues — Brian Elliott. Coyotes — Mike Smith.
Injury report: Blues — LW Robby Fabbri (lower body), D Jay Bouwmeester (upper body) and D Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) are questionable. Coyotes — C Martin Hanzal (upper body) did not start the four-game trip with the team but could join the Coyotes at some point. D Michael Stone (left knee), G Anders Lindback (Achilles) and RW Joe Vitale (concussion symptoms) are out for the season.
Scouting the Blues: St. Louis trailed Dallas by four points for the Central Division crown with four games left before Sunday’s game in Colorado. The Blues are 7-3 in their last 10 games but lost a critical game at home to Boston on Friday. … G Brian Elliott leads the NHL in save percentage at .931, but was removed from Friday’s game after allowing five goals on 23 shots … F Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team with 36 goals and 67 points.
- Anthony Duclair has hat trick, Coyotes beat Senators in OT
- Coyotes’ Stepan hopes to step up production with more aggressive play
- The 5: Most thrilling debut seasons in Valley sports history
- Coyotes beat Montreal in nine-goal thriller for third win of season
- ‘Yotes GM John Chayka more worried about the process than the standings