2014 Arizona Coyotes Season Preview
The 2013 NHL season finished in absolute frustration for the Arizona Coyotes. With 3 weeks left in the season the Coyotes looked to be in good shape to make the NHL playoffs, but then Arizona proceeded to lose 7 of their last 8 games to finish 2 points outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. Because of this collapse, the Arizona Coyotes have tried to cultivate a greater sense of toughness this offseason. For 2014, the Coyotes have brought in Sam Gagner who looks to utilize a fresh start to continue to build on his notable talent. Also new for 2014 are B.J. Crombeen, and Joe Vitale. Once again the Arizona Coyotes season will rest on the shoulders of outstanding goaltender Mike Smith. If Smith can reproduce some of the magic that help him lead the Coyotes to the Western Conference finals in 2012, then Arizona has a good chance of putting last season collapse behind them and advance to the NHL playoffs once again.
2013 Arizona Coyotes Season Preview
Arizona failed to make the playoffs last season, falling way behind the year before where they were close to a Stanley Cup Finals. While Boyd Gordon is off to Edmonton this season, they were able to sign forward Mike Ribeiro to a four-year deal to help the attack. The defense will be led once again by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and this blue line is one of the best in the conference. They’ll need Mike Smith to regain the form from 2011 if they want to make another run at a title. The Coyotes find themselves on the road through much of the month of December, but if they can get through road games against clubs like Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, they’ll be set up nicely for a six-game home stand that starts on New Year’s Eve. Coming into the US Airway Center will Edmonton, Philly, Calgary, Minnesota and Anaheim.
2012 Arizona Coyotes Season Preview
Will all the off-the-ice turmoil the Coyotes faced last season, plenty of respect has be thrown coach Dave Tippet’s way. He led them to a second straight playoff appearance with a goalie who’s on the edge of greatness and a star forward in Shane Doan who led the team with 60 points and not much else. Now goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is gone, and Tippet will be forced to find a way to up his team’s scoring to make it three straight years of playoff hockey in the desert. While Bryzgalov’s departure hurts, former Lightning keeper Mike Smith comes in to try to fill the void. Along with Smith, the team has made stellar improvement at the forward position with the addition of Raffi Torres from Vancouver, Boyd Gordon from Washington and former Coyote Daymond Langkow. That gives them a more physical presence close to the goal that will help ease the burden on Smith in the back. They’re also hoping on the defensive line that the return of Keith Yandle and Derek Morris will provide the leadership it needs to make a further push into the playoff months.
2011 Arizona Coyotes Season Preview
The Phoenix Coyotes were one of the largest surprises in the NHL last season. Amid talks of the team leaving Phoenix, they made the playoffs and took the Detroit Red Wings to seven games before being knocked out. Despite the success, they largely overachieved and it may difficult for them to duplicate the successes of last year. The Coyotes' leading scorer, Shane Doan, is back to lead the offense in 2010. Doan accumulated 55 points last season, led mostly by his 37 assists. He will be joined by a pair of offseason additions that should add some spark to Phoenix's offensive attack. Ray Whitney and Eric Belanger both provide veteran leadership and can be a scoring threat when called upon. Rounding out the front line will be last year's leading goal scorer, Radim Vrbata. Defensively, the Coyotoes relied primarily on the outstanding goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov, who posted a .920 save percentage last season. While he may not be that impressive this year, the resigning of defensemen Lee Stempniak and Wojtek Wolski will provide solid play in front of him.
2010 Arizona Coyotes Season Preview
The Phoenix Coyotes should be fun to watch in the 2009-2010 season. The Coyotes are coming off a rough year last year, but have high scoring veteran Shane Doan to once again lead the way. Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky just needs to find a few other talented hockey players to pair with Doan for Phoenix to start making some waves in the Western Conference.