Tonight the Arizona Coyotes will take on the Calgary Flames for the second time in the last four days. The Flames have been a thorn in the side of the Coyotes as of late. They Have beaten them both times they played this season, the most recent being a 3-0 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday. Last night the Coyotes finally ended their three game losing streak and broke out of their goal scoring funk in dramatic fashion with a crushing 5-2 victory over the Oilers.
The Arizona Coyotes have been struggling as of late. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games and are 10-12-3 on the season. In their most recent slump they went over 110 minutes with out a goal scored but that all changed last night. After going scoreless in the first they tormented Edmonton with a 4 goal second period. The most impressive thing about that period was Tobias Rieder making NHL history by scoring the fastest two shorthanded goals by a rookie. Even though the game was against one of the worst teams in the league a win is a win and something like this could be just what a team needs to turn around a disappointing start to their season. The team played very solid last night making few mistakes and Mike Smith started to look like his former self again turning away twenty-five of the twenty seven shots he faced.
On the other hand the Flames are as hot as can be right now after being one of the worst teams in the league last season they find themselves with a 15-8-2 record and trail the top spot in the Pacific Division by only three points. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten. They have not allowed a goal in their last two games shutting out San Jose and Arizona. They are led by their Captain Mark Giordano who is have a very, very impressive season.
After just playing each other very recently tonight’s game is going to be a very tough battle for the Coyotes. They will need to continue to produce goals. Another thing they can’t afford tonight is to be “one and done” when they enter the opposing teams zone. Over the last couple of games I think that is becoming a problem with this offense, they seem to just enter the teams zone fire one shot and head back to their own zone. They need to start keeping the puck down on the other end of the ice because it’s not going to end well when they other team keeps the puck in the Coyotes zone for most of the period. Last but not least the most Important thing for the Coyotes tonight will be their goaltending. Mike Smith’s play has been getting better after his abysmal start to the season. It would be nice to see him start stringing some W’s together after being 1-6-1 in his last eight starts. Hopefully he can build off the game he had last night and continue that level of play into tonight’s game.
Jiri Hudler – The Flames winger picks up where he left off last season and is on pace for a career year. In just twenty-four games this season the Czech Winger has eleven goals and twelve helpers. Five of those goals have come in his last four games
Tobias Rieder – The Coyotes rookie has lit the lamp three times in his last three games and has looked great out on the ice. He plays hard and try’s to create a chance every time he gets out on the ice
Karri Ramo – Although he splits duty with the Flames other net minder Jonas Hiller, Ramo is as hot as can be right now. He is currently on a 134-minute shutout streak and has posted back-to-back shutouts.