Buffalo Sabres Top The Arizona Coyotes 5-2

Buffalo Sabres Top The Arizona Coyotes 5-2 Despite Domi’s Two Goal Night

Published On December 4, 2015 | By Jason Harrison | Gameday

Despite Max Domi’s two goal effort, fans saw the Buffalo Sabres top the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 tonight at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

The game began on fairly promising for the Coyotes which was certainly refreshing for the beleaguered fanbase. The Yotes have been notorious for slow starts, but tonight they maintained just long enough for rookie Max Domi to net a goal on a breakaway pass from Martin Hanzal for the 1-0 lead.

From there, things began to head downhill in a hurry. During the 2nd period Mike Smith let in a goal off his back from Sam Reinhart and then another Jamie McGinn after a nice Jack Eichel pass that he should have definitely stopped. By the 2nd intermission the Coyotes were down 2-1 and wondering what had happened.

The third period was a disaster from the Coyotes standpoint. They entered the period down 2-1 and were quickly down 3-1 after Evander Kane scored shorthanded 2:40 into the period. That was the 6th shorthanded goal allowed by the Coyotes on the season.

Max Domi scored another beauty to close the gap to one, but Mike Smith allowed Marcus Foligno to back yet another puck off his back and reclaim a two goal lead for the Sabres. That one was all Smith as he simply failed to attach himself properly to the post and the Sabres made him pay for it. Nicklas Grossmann cut the lead back to one goal again after outfoxing Jamie McGinn, however a coach’s challenge by Dan Bylsma saw the goal overturned for goalie interference. The Coyotes were completely deflated after that.

An empty netter by Evander Kane closed the deal. Sabres top the Arizona Coyotes in Buffalo, 5-2.

Here’s how it went down:

  • Mike Smith…again. The Coyotes have many issues but this guy’s consistency is non-existent. I’m not in the tar and feather and run him out of town crowd, but it does seem like Dave Tippett would at some point move on to Anders Lindback on a more regular basis if for nothing else than to prove a point.
  • Center Martin Hanzal managed another assist and had a decent night in the face-off dot. If we look at the Corsi events from War On Ice for tonight’s game for the Yotes, Hanzal was one of few Coyotes to be positive in shot differential. sabrescorsi
  • Also checking out the Corsi chart, the line of Tobias Rieder/Antoine Vermette/Anthony Duclair was absolutely abysmal with the puck tonight. They all finished -11 or worse in the shot attempt department and that’s a hell of a hole. Of the three, only Tobias Rieder managed a shot on goal the entire game.
  • That Nicklas Grossmann no goal was a pretty borderline call of interference. While Martin Hanzal did whack Chad Johnson’s glove, it was clearly incidental as well as before the puck was on it’s way. The second contact came after the puck was by Johnson, so…yeah. The Coyotes have been eating these no goal calls like crazy this year.
  • It’s a good thing Arizona has Max Domi. Otherwise this season would be nigh unbearable. Both of those goals were magnificent and he was buzzing all around the ice tonight. Plus he won the head-to-head against Jack Eichel, even if the Yotes lost the war.

I feel like a broken record at this point. Not enough zone time and not enough shots on net. Bad defensive positioning allowing easy looks on Mike Smith, and bad goals being let in by Mike Smith on top of that. The depth scoring…all scoring has dried up that isn’t attached to Max Domi’s stick in some form or fashion.

And if fans see another shorthanded goal allowed before 2016 I’m pretty sure there will be a small revolt.

The Coyotes head to Raleigh, NC to take on the Hurricanes on Sunday. Surely we can win that one, right?