Where Do The Arizona Coyotes Stand After 20 Games?
The last time the blog checked in on the Arizona Coyotes statistical progress the team was 5-4-1 with 11 points and one point out of the Pacific division lead. Ten games later not a whole lot has changed record wise. The Coyotes finished the first 20 games with a record of 10-9-1 which was good for 21 points, but maintaining a more or less .500 record is only good enough for 4th place in the division. It also saw the Coyotes gain only 10 points in their second set of ten games, which was a net loss of one point compared to the first ten games.
I feel like a .500 team is about where the Coyotes really are at this point in time and that is not the most terrible thing in the world. They were 24-50-8 last season with a grand total of 56 points on the season. Being even semi-respectable after that is an accomplishment in my books and the future is only going to be better provided the Coyotes can solve their defensive and goaltending issues.
Let’s see how the Coyotes are faring 20 games into the 2015-16 season:
- Max Domi and Anthony Duclair have seen their torrid pace decline over the past ten games. While they do still have a few brilliant games in this last ten game stretch to their credit, the consistent point (and more importantly goal) production isn’t there yet. That’s to be expected, really, but without the kids carrying the team we’re seeing exactly what the Coyotes have to offer (and it’s not much).
- One thing the Yotes do have to offer fans is Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who emerged from his slump and generated 3 goals and a career long 7 game point streak that was snapped on Saturday night.
- There’s also this guy named Shane Doan who has quietly put together 6 goals already at the age of 39. A 20 goal season doesn’t seem that unrealistic now.
- The Coyotes team save percentage is 92.12% during 5v5 which is 24th overall out of 30 teams. Woof. This is the number one barrier to this team being in a better position in the standings.
- Likewise, the second barrier to entry into relevancy is that the Coyotes are 27th in the league in shot generation and 25th in the league (48%) in 5v5 Corsi. It’s hard to win consistently when you aren’t getting consistent pressure on the opposition…and forcing your already suspect goaltending into even more bad situations. The good news is the Corsi number did improve so hopefully we can continue seeing progress.
- It’s not listed above, but with an average of 12.35 PIM a game that makes the team the 6th most penalized team in the league. If it feels like they were taking too many penalties of late…they were. Thankfully they kill 83.3% of the penalties they take, which puts them in the top half of the league.
- When the Coyotes do manage to get on the power play instead of giving them up, they only convert 15% of the time. 15% is a marked improvement thanks to the team going 4 for 11 in their last three games to improve the conversion by a decent margin. It’s still 24th in the league at that.
- Unfortunately re: the power play, 5 shorthanded goals allowed is the most in the NHL through 20 games.
- Team shooting percentage is 8.61% during 5v5 which is the *gulp* third highest in the league. Odds are it’s going to go down, not up, so we may see that goals for average (11th in the NHL) begin to slide.
- Anthony Duclair is still rocking a 26.9% shooting percentage on a mere 26 shots, while Max Domi is shooting 19% on 42 shots. Regression will continue, and both of these guys should be putting up a much greater quantity of shots. Duclair in particular often makes the extra unnecessary pass instead of taking prime chances.
- As a funny aside, Nicklas Grossmann is shooting 28.6% on 7 shots. The Coyotes miss this dude so badly and it’s not because of his insane shooting percentage. Hope he’s back on Wednesday night.
- Among goalies who have played at least 10 games (starting goaltenders), Mike Smith ranks 22nd of 29 qualifying goaltenders with a .904 save percentage in all situations. Translation: he’s not even playing at the level of a decent NHL backup goaltender on a consistent basis. Only this year and three more to go at the tune of a mere $22,666,668 towards the cap over those four years. Feels bad man.
The Yotes are now 7-5-1 when away from Gila River Arena, yet only 3-4-0 when sleeping in their own beds. We’ll see how this plays out over the next week with the 3 game Thanksgiving homestand coming up.
If the Coyotes can cut down on the absurd number of penalties taken they can probably stay above the .500 line through the next 10 games. An average of 12.35 penalty minutes per game is going to end up biting you no matter how well the penalty kill plays. As I said last week, even if they killed all of those 6 average penalties per game it absolutely wears the team out and keeps them on their heels for nearly 1/4th of the game. It’s very hard to generate shots when you can’t leave your own zone, and it’s hard to generate shots late in a game when you’ve ran yourself ragged trying to protect an already leaky net with no respite for large periods of time.
Though the statistics are on the whole subpar, where the Coyotes stand at this point in the season is better than all but the biggest homer would’ve predicted. They are going to be in sniffing distance of the playoffs moving out of the month of November (which was a goal of GMDM). Let’s see how long they can hang in.