Arizona Coyotes defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson hugs captain Shane Doan

…And The Belt Goes To: Winnipeg Edition

Published On January 1, 2016 | By Jason Harrison | B-Sides

The Arizona Coyotes snuck out of Gila River Arena with a win on New Year’s Eve behind a record-setting night from Shane Doan. It was Oliver Ekman-Larsson who was awarded the Player of the Game afterwards in the locker room, however.

The Arizona Coyotes had a lot of possibilities to go with for player of the game after their testy matchup with the Winnipeg Jets.

Louis Domingue was a big part of the win with 35 saves. His play throughout the game (gaffe aside) was the reason it didn’t get out of hand in the first place. Of course there was also Shane Doan, who broke some kind of goal-scoring record or something that you might have heard about…it was kind of a big deal.

In a bit of a surprise, Anders Lindback awarded the belt to the team’s superstar Oliver Ekman-Larsson. To my knowledge it’s the first time OEL has had the belt this season, which is kind of crazy when you think about how hopeless this team might be without him chewing up 25 minutes of time on ice per game.

He’s the steadying presence in the lineup at a mere twenty four years old, and if the Arizona Coyotes ever manage to find him a solid right shooting partner we could see OEL’s career and numbers launch into the stratosphere as all this youth develops around him.

Oh, and those 10 goals of his this season are nothing to sneeze at.

OEL’s goal came on the power play after a bit of cycling. His buddy Mikkel Boedker hit him in the perfect spot on the ice and Oliver sniped a seeing-eye wrister past Connor Hellebuyck. It was a beauty and it ultimately turned the game in the Arizona Coyotes favor.