Coyotes Game 69 Preview: Coyotes and Canucks meet in battle of the streaks

Mar 16, 2023 - 1:00 PM
<a href=Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks" src="" />
Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images

Game Preview

Nobody expected the Arizona Coyotes to be on a point streak after the trade deadline. Teams that lose some of their best players are not supposed to string together wins and points, but the Coyotes have found a way to do just that, especially at home.

The Coyotes pulled out a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames in one of their most impressive wins of the game. The Yotes’ top six got the job done while goaltender Connor Ingram made the saves he needed to give the Desert Dogs the win.

Like many games this season, the Flames outshot the Coyotes for most of the game. Ingram faced 45 shots, including six on the power play, and he managed to stop 42. Usually, giving up three goals isn’t ideal, but you can’t complain when your goaltender stops .933% of the shots.

But you can’t just stop shots, you need to score to win games, and the Coyotes did that. Clayton Keller was responsible for two of the Coyotes’ goals, his 30th and 31st of the season, and Matias Maccelli scored the Yotes’ second of the night. Getting it done in overtime was Travis Boyd, who looked like he had gotten on the board earlier in the game only to have the goal waived off for goaltender interference.

Clayton Keller simultaneously reached the 30-goal and 70-point plateau, putting him in rare company on the Coyotes. The Coyotes have not had a 30-goal scorer since Radim Vrbata and haven’t had a 70-point player since Ray Whitney. It is truly astonishing to see how well Keller is doing, even on a tanking team.

The Vancouver Canucks are a lot like the Arizona Coyotes. Both teams are not very good, yet both have had surprising streaks since the deadline.

Vancouver made moves up to the trade deadline but didn’t see their major pieces, J.T. Miller or Brock Boeser, traded. Patrik Allvin was excited to grab Filip Hronek for a conditional 2023 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick, although the defenseman is currently out with an upper-body injury.

The Canucks come into tonight’s game riding a lot of momentum, with wins in their last five games. They did the Coyotes a few favors, giving the Ducks a point last Wednesday by beating them in overtime and beating the Ottawa Senators 5-2 while also topping the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1, the Nashville Predators 4-3 in the shootout, and the Dallas Stars 5-2.

Looking at the results, you can see that Vancouver Canucks have been scoring a lot of goals and not giving up too many, either. The Canucks have two 30+ goal scorers, Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko, and Kuzmenko isn’t even a top-three in points for the Canucks.

In net, the Canucks have Thatcher Demko and Collin Delia. Neither has had a particularly good season, but Demko has looked solid in March. It could be he is seeing some improvement under Head Coach Rick Tocchet’s system, or he could be finding his groove, but either way, this should be a fun matchup.

Players to Watch

Arizona: Juuso Välimäki - Keller got all the attention for the Coyotes’ last win, but Välimäki played a key role. He assisted on two of the goals and comes into tonight’s game with four assists in his previous two games.

Vancouver: Brock Boeser - Boeser had three assists in the Canucks’ last matchup and comes into tonight’s game riding a two-game point streak. This hasn’t been Boeser’s best season, but he seems to be picking up for the final stretch.


Arizona: Patrik Nemeth (questionable, lower body), Nick Schmaltz (questionable, lower body), Jakub Voráček (concussion), Shea Weber (ankle), Bryan Little (ear), Andrew Ladd (knee)

Vancouver: Filip Hronek (upper body), Ethan Bear (upper body), Travis Dermott (undisclosed), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ankle), Ilya Mikheyev (knee), Tanner Pearson (hand), Tucker Poolman (migraine)

Puck Drop

Tonight’s game will be at Mullett Arena with a 7:00 pm start time. It will air on Bally Sports Arizona Extra and ESPN 620AM.

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