Arizona Coyotes young guns - photo by Anaheim Ducks

Arizona Coyotes Kids Kindle Optimism In Rout

Published On September 21, 2017 | By Jason Harrison | Gameday

The Arizona Coyotes pounced on the Ducks with a 5-1 win to kick off the preseason. Best of all, the kids did the heavy lifting.

How many years of “wait til this kid gets to the NHL” have Arizona Coyotes fans endured?

It seems like the holding pattern has been in place forever.

Last night in a completely meaningless preseason game, the kids did the heavy lifting and desert hearts immediately began to flutter.

Yes, yes, I know, I shouldn’t get carried away about one preseason contest but did you see those kids out there?

Hah, no, you didn’t. The NHL decided that it’d rather not air the Yotes and Ducks on a Wednesday night, but I digress.

Clayton Keller, Christian Fischer, Max Domi, and Dylan Strome combined to put up 9 points in their first outing under new head coach Rick Tocchet. Keller poured gasoline on the hype machine following him as he scored two goals and added an assist, while Fischer continues to score goals at an absurd rate. Domi added a goal and an assist, and Strome nabbed a helper as well.

All aboard! The train is pulling out of the station!

That’s not all there was to be excited about.

Louis Domingue acquitted himself well during the team’s extensive shorthanded periods, and the Arizona Coyotes out shot the Ducks 31-24 for the game and 21-14 at even strength. In fact, the Ducks hardly accomplished anything at even strength.

I’ll pump the brakes a little on my excitement, but all of these occurrences are good early signs heading into a season filled with change for the Yotes.

Puck possession goes a long way towards having these kids put up the kind of numbers we’ve long surmised they are capable of. It was just a preseason contest, but there were a good number of NHL players on both sides of the ice on Wednesday night. Consistency in that area would be such a tremendous shift in style that fans may not know how to react.

To go from getting pinned in your own end every night to holding your own in the offensive zone? That should be the case with these Coyotes if they can execute Tocchet’s system.

Of course it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions from last night’s contest. We all know that.

A word of caution, however.

Don’t be afraid to add a little pinch of optimism to your morning coffee. We’ve been burned before, but there are new chefs in the kitchen and new tools in the arsenal.

Good things never seem to happen…until they do. Maybe it’s our turn. It’s okay to be excited.