Arizona Coyotes Ran Over In Buffalo, 6-3
The Arizona Coyotes suffered through another night of turnovers and inability to control the puck in a loss to the Sabres.
That was far from the best showing by the Arizona Coyotes.
Goaltender Mike Smith was largely left to his own devices by the players in front of him and things went sideways before it was all over.
Throughout a large swathe of the contest, the Yotes were neck and neck with Buffalo. They never trailed by more than one goal and even tied the game up at 3-3 with about twelve minutes remaining in the third period.
Spending the whole game on their heels eventually took it’s toll, however, and the Coyotes eventually succumbed to a more offensively talented Sabres group.
The game was hard to watch, but it wasn’t without it’s bright spots.
Newly minted Coyote Teemu Pulkkinen scored a nice goal after a nice bit of passing with Max Domi. He finished the game with three shots on goal which was a good sign. If you’re gonna be a wing on the opposite side of Domi, you have to be willing to fire the puck because he will give you opportunities.
Tobias Rieder also added to his penalty killing highlights with another shorthander.
Rieder’s ability to create these chances on the penalty kill is something else. If he was half as deadly in the offensive zone as he is on the PK he would be able to justify some of that top six time he receives from Dave Tippett.
There wasn’t much else to write home about. Smitty did all he could, particularly in the second period with Buffalo outshot Arizona 19-6, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Buffalo wins, 6-3.
Arizona Coyotes Player of the Game
Tobi Rieder added another shorty and tallied an assist as well. We’ll give him the nod over Teemu Pulkkinen despite the debut goal.
When you look at the Coyotes’ roster, there’s not many names you’d really want to have around in two or three years when the kids have finally cut their teeth. Rieder and Jordan Martinook are among those names, however, and the Yotes would be prudent to hang onto them both.
The View From The 200 Level
If you’re outshot more than 2-to-1 for most of the game, the odds are going to be heavily stacked against you.
Whether it was trade deadline hangover, simply being a bad team, or a bit of both, Arizona laid a big egg in Buffalo and were mighty lucky to be in the game as long as they were.
The team continues to be careless with the puck and lose an overwhelming majority of it’s 1-on-1 battles. It’s hard to expect a good result when that’s the case, and ultimately it just makes you feel bad for Mike Smith for having to suffer through it.
Speaking of suffering, it sure is awful to watch Jack Eichel carve up the Yotes. He should have been wearing a Coyotes’ sweater the past two seasons but Edmonton happened, and to top it off he tallies three points against Arizona tonight. Brutal.
If we’re going to be losing down the stretch, these kids need to be on the ice getting reps so that next year isn’t quite so bad. Sitting a guy like DeAngelo for Kevin Connauton is kind of inexcusable at this point in the season.
The Yotes play Carolina tomorrow night in Raleigh. We’ll hope for better luck and a better effort.