Due to circumstances beyond their control, the Arizona Coyotes’ road trip of 14 straight games is finally over. Playing that many games on the road can be quite challenging. Yet, when some players were asked about it they responded that it definitely helped the team bonding process. When you’re traveling that much and seeing your teammates more than your family, you have no choice but to take positives from the experience.
Arizona Coyotes Road Trip Could Have Been Worse
Considering the schedule, the Desert Dogs could have come home with a much worse record than the 4-7-3 record. Gathering 11 points out of 14 games isn’t horrible. They actually started out the epic road trip on a good note by winning three straight games. They didn’t continue that good play in the next three games losing two in regulation and one in a shootout. But, then an amazing thing happened. They shut out a really quality team in the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-0.
Now that could have been a springboard for more wins, but the road-weary Yotes fell in the next six games, losing two in a shootout. The end of the road was not pretty. They were torn apart by a powerful scoring machine known as the Edmonton Oilers. That was the only game where they were overrun during the duration of the road trip. They lost five games by just one goal, and three of them were shootouts. They scored 36 goals and allowed 46 during the span of 14 games.
Time To Come Home
A new arena. A NHL-tying 14-game road trip. And the dads. ❤️
Inside Access with the Arizona Coyotes: Coast to Coast is live. Watch now: https://t.co/oQGFLCVaGk
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 8, 2022
While the entire team and staff must be overjoyed to finally be playing at home, they must face the league-leading Boston Bruins on Friday, December 9th. With only two points in their last six games, the Coyotes are hoping to upend the mighty Bruins. Some of that road chemistry they acquired during the lengthy road trip may come into play. Is Boston a formidable opponent? Of course, but the Coyotes have something to prove and they want to do it in front of the hometown fans.
This homestand will have eight of its next 10 games included in it. They need to get off the losing streak they’re on and doing it at home is always a plus. The players highly deserve to be home for the Christmas holiday. Sleeping in their own beds, enjoying time with their loved ones.
And, the best news is the Mullett arena annex is ready for use for the Coyotes and visiting teams, according to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports.
Some finishing touches will be added in the weeks ahead, but the Mullett Arena annex is ready for use by the Coyotes, Bruins & future visiting teams.
Props to the Coyotes equipment staff & many other staff members who made this happen with an all-hands-on -deck approach. pic.twitter.com/hvoZULfYOa
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) December 9, 2022
The Rebuild is Still Alive and Well
The Yotes are tied for 29th place in the NHL standings. Just one point separates them from the cellar-dwelling Anaheim Ducks. The race for Connor Bedard is in progress. Yet, there were signs on this never-ending road trip where the team wasn’t looking like a 29th-place team. Their power play ranks 21st with a 21.5 percent success rate. The penalty-kill is 20th with a 76 percent rate.
While the team is hoping to be able to draft a player of Bedard’s talent, this next draft will be loaded with young prospects. As many fans of the team know, two young players that the team hopes to build upon are doing quite well. Dylan Guenther will be playing in the World Juniors Championships and Logan Cooley, the third overall pick in the last draft has seven goals and 14 assists in 17 games at the University of Minnesota.
If the Coyotes can grab a player that will help them rebuild in the draft next year, they will be adding to their wealth of prospects going forward. Building through the draft has been general manager Bill Armstrong‘s plan all along. We will need to wait to see what other moves he makes as the trade deadline approaches in early March.
It shouldn’t be too much longer before defenseman Jakob Chychrun is dealt away. Since his return, he has accumulated three goals and four assists in eight games. This can only increase the return that Armstrong has been holding out for in a prospective trade.
The Coyotes may have survived an extensive 14-game road trip, but now it’s back to work in making headway in building their roster for the future.
There’s no place like…. there’s no place like home.
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