GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Brendan Perlini #29 of the Arizona Coyotes shoots the puck during the preseason NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena on September 26, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Photo: Christian Petersen, 2016 Getty Images)

Brendan Perlini’s Rookie Season Still Impressive Despite Scoring Drought

Published On March 9, 2017 | By Jason Harrison | B-Sides

Arizona Coyotes rookie Brendan Perlini has hit a scoring drought, but his body of work across the entire season remains impressive.

No one expected Brendan Perlini to be playing 40+ games for the Arizona Coyotes this season.

Maybe not even Mr. Perlini himself.

But the Perl had a chip on his shoulder after being cut and sent to the AHL. ““If anything, I was pissed off and wanted to prove everyone wrong,” he said. “That really just motivated me.”

And so while he started the season as a forgotten man, he’s now played 40 games in the NHL. He’s added 10 goals and 6 assists to his resume, and he brought some much needed pizzazz to a limping Coyotes roster while Max Domi was injured.

He’s cooled off considerably since his hot start, however. Perlini has scored just 3 goals in his past 20 goals. He’s still figuring it out.

Watching that speed, skill, and size – the three “S’s” GM’s love – fly down the wing is a treat, and it’s worth noting that Perl is still on a 20 goal pace if he had played the entire season with Arizona instead of splitting time in Tucson.

There’s just one thing holding him back and it’s a familiar refrain with multiple Coyotes’ players.

Brendan Perlini does not shoot the puck enough. He, like Anthony Duclair last season, has benefitted greatly from an inflated shooting percentage. Not only in the NHL, but in Tucson as well.

Whether it’s recognizing he’s a rookie, a lack of confidence, or some other factor, Perlini is in real danger of following in the footsteps of the Duke next season if he doesn’t learn the lesson of his teammate.

Perlini has played in 10 games where he did not produce even a single shot on goal. The ray of hope with Perl is that when he does shoot, he sometimes shoots in bunches. He has had four shots on goal or more in six games this season, and I’m sure John Chayka and Dave Tippett would love to see that number increase dramatically.

The kid is still figuring out the NHL and where he fits into things. Hopefully 2016-17 is just a stepping stone to an even bigger breakout season from #29.

Arizona Coyotes News And Links

Gary Bettman clarifies that he’s not giving up on Phoenix area — ESPN

“I don’t want it misconstrued. We are not giving up on the Coyotes in the greater Phoenix area,” Bettman said Wednesday, after the NHL general managers meetings wrapped up for the week.

Coyotes’ uneven growth shows unpredictability of a rebuild — AZCentral

The result will be the same, another season that fails to culminate in a playoff berth, but how the Coyotes reached that fate is unlike their journey a year ago.

Revisiting Coyotes’ trade of center Kyle Turris — FanRag Sports

It’s strange that when Canadian teams visit the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena, they’re often accompanied by a sense of what might have been.

Dave Tippett is frustrated — NBC Sports

The Arizona Coyotes have taken a step back this season, in a year where many figured they’d move forward. For head coach Dave Tippett, it’s been exasperating.

Other Local Sports

A ‘better’ Zack Greinke on display for Arizona Diamondbacks — Arizona Sports

“Decent” is how Zack Greinke described his first outing. “Better” was the word he used after his second.

Calais Campbell will be missed by Arizona Cardinals — Raising Zona

The Arizona Cardinals desire to be Super Bowl contenders this year will cost them their mainstay at defensive end.

Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla dives onto the court during Wizards game, play goes on — CBS Sports

As we noted earlier, the Suns were all sorts of fun Tuesday night , and even their famous mascot, The Gorilla, got in on the action — though it was for a good cause.