Brendan Perlini’s Rookie Season Still Impressive Despite Scoring Drought
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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