The Arizona Coyotes continue their road trip far away from the desert, as they head to Long Island following a 3-2 win in overtime against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. This is the second matchup in a four-game road trip for the Coyotes who will have to wait until October 30th for their next game in the desert. This four-game road trip doesn’t involve much travelling, so that’s a plus for the Yotes. It started in NYC and will end in Buffalo, so it’s a regional road trip for Arizona.
The young and pesky Coyotes sank the Rangers with a Christian Dvorak winner in 3-on-3 hockey at Madison Square Garden. The Coyotes have been a tough out for teams this season, as they look like a brand new hockey club early on in the 2019-20 season. And the best part for the Coyotes is that the best is yet to come. They appear to be locked in to be a competitive team for the next several years.
If it doesn’t happen this season, expect the Coyotes to be a playoff team next year. Beyond that they really could be a contender in the playoffs. When the younger guys, which this team largely consists of, get experience in the NHL the rest of the league is going to have to take notice. They’re off to a 5-2-1 start for 11 points. I think they will stay competitive throughout the season for one of the lower seeds. Whether that results in a ticket to play spring hockey remains to be seen, but the Yotes are on the right path.
The Islanders are looking to build on a successful season in 2018-19. They had to swallow a hard pill when they lost John Tavares in free agency, but the Isles didn’t suffer. After a long layoff waiting for the Hurricanes, the Islanders were swept in four games. It was a fitting meeting between teams who were both ignored going into the season. The Coyotes want to be that next surprise team to have a breakout campaign. They will seek to knock off the 5-3-0 Islanders. Head below for our free Coyotes vs. Islanders pick.
Arizona Coyotes vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
The Coyotes have been getting solid production throughout their roster. It isn’t just one guy pulling the weight. Everyone, including the goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, have contributed to the nice start. Clayton Keller still hasn’t recorded a goal, though he’s been setting up some terrific plays.
His unselfish play has led to 7 assists, as he searches for his first goal on the season. The 7 helpers puts him second on the team in points, trailing only Nick Schmaltz. There are nine players on the Coyotes with at least 4 points.
Darcy Kuemper has been doing it himself between the pipes. Kuemper has been one of the hottest goaltenders to open the 2019-20 season, as the Coyotes are in a good controversy to have between Kuemper and Antti Raanta. Arizona will just likely go with the hotter hand at the moment.
Kuemper owns a 1.68 GAA and 0.944 save percentage, while Raanta has been solid as well, with a 2.44 GAA and 0.926 save percentage. Kuemper is sitting himself up to be a full-time goaltender on a team in the future, whether that’s the Coyotes or somebody else. They were wise to sign him to a two-year contract just a few weeks ago.
Kuemper and Raanta have helped the Coyotes significantly. Arizona are the only team in the NHL who have allowed less than 2 goals per game. Going into Thursday, the Yotes have surrendered just 1.88 goals per contest. The Bruins are 2nd with 2.11 goals allowed. The Isles aren’t too far behind and have allowed 2.5 goals per game for 7th in the league.
The Isles got out of sorts with two losses of 5-2 against the Oilers and Hurricanes, but have been back on track playing their kind of hockey. They are on a four-game win streak with three wins of 3-2 and a 3-1 win. It’s likely the Coyotes and Islanders get into a similar low-scoring contest on Thursday night. The Coyotes and Islanders both like to play the same style and it should show in this one. Expect a 3-2 final score for a winning NHL pick on the UNDER.