The Arizona Coyotes are far away from home, as they enter Madison Square Garden for a matchup against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. It’s the first of a four-game road trip for the Coyotes out west. It begins in NYC tonight and concludes in Buffalo against the Sabres on Monday.
They’ll play in a back-to-back against the Islanders and Devils on Thursday-Friday. The Coyotes have tasted some success in the early stages of the 2019-20 season. Expected to be perhaps be a sleeper team this season, the Coyotes are off to a 4-2-1 start out of the gates.
The Coyotes will need some things to go their way this season to reach the playoffs, but they are on the right path. Clayton Keller has been showing off his ability to be a tremendous facilitator, as he’s recorded 6 assists already. Keller is still looking for his first goal, but the 6 assists is still good for 2nd on the team with 6 points. 23-year-old Nick Schmaltz leads the team with 7 points, while another 23-year-old, Conor Garland leads the Yotes with 4 goals. With Keller just a 21-year-old, their top three point getters are all below 24 years of age.
That’s a good sign for the future and possibly this season for the young Yotes. There is a lot of promise on this team. Whether the Coyotes are going to be in the desert in the future remains to be seen, but if they put a good team together on the ice, it’s going to hard for fans to stay away in Phoenix.
That is basically the only way to get people out to watch hockey in Arizona. There are some diehards, but that doesn’t fill the seats. If they’re patient for another year or two, Coyotes’ fans are going to be happy with what they see. The Rangers are looking to kick out of a four-game skid in this one. It’s been a rough start for the Rangers who opened up the wallet to attract Artemi Panarin. Their last win was against a bad Senators team, 4-1, on the 5th. Head below for our free Coyotes vs. Rangers pick.
Arizona Coyotes vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
The Rangers got behind early against the Canucks as they took a 3-0 deficit into the first intermission. They made it a game, but it wasn’t enough and had to take their fourth straight loss. The Rangers showed up with 40 shots, though the defence was lazy with 43 shots against on Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist deserves better than that. He will get the night off, while Alexander Georgiev will be called on between the pipes for Tuesday.
Georgiev has been the better goaltender in NYC this season. Lundqvist can’t be blamed for Sunday, though the younger Georgiev has been outperforming him thus far this season and did last season as well. That’s likely going to continue as Lundqvist racks up more miles on his legs and regresses. Georgiev enters Tuesday with a solid 2.56 GAA and 0.928 save percentage in two games. He should be the starting goaltender, but the Rangers are kind of stuck with Lundqvist and his no-trade clause.
The Rangers might be limping, but the Coyotes are coming into New York flying on a three-game win streak. They’ve earned a point in each of their past five games, with a loss in overtime against the Avalanche their only blemish. Darcy Kuemper has been feeling it between the pipes for the Yotes. He goes into Tuesday with a 1.62 GAA and 0.949 save percentage in five games. Despite all of that, this looks like a perfect trap spot for the Coyotes in New York.
Arizona might be feeling a little too good going into this road trip, as they take their foot off the gas pedal and relax a bit too much at Madison Square Garden. This is not a place they’ve liked to play in the past. The Coyotes are 1-9 in their previous ten games against the Rangers in New York. They’re likely going to see the Rangers at their most desperate as they look to avoid this slump going on any longer. At close to even money, the Rangers look like the play at home.