The nightmare tour of the Arizona Coyotes continues in Minnesota tonight, as they look to find a win against the Wild. It’s become a common theme for the Coyotes. They’ve been looking to snap losing streaks on the daily this season. The Yotes were not a great team a year ago, but they at least would show up from time to time. Shane Doan retires and the entire franchise has gone into implosion mode.
Doan didn’t necessarily want to give it up, but the Coyotes forced his hand in a way. They weren’t re-signing him and his options were slim elsewhere around the league. His skillset was diminishing at 41 years old, but he was still great to have around the locker room. Considering the offensive deficiencies, the Coyotes have had this season, though, his services on the ice wouldn’t hurt, either.
Clayton Keller leads the way for the Coyotes with 14 goals and 22 assists. Keller is only 19 years old, so it hasn’t been all bad news. The Coyotes hope they can use Keller as their foundation and then build up from there. Keller is going to need a lot of help, though. He would be a fantastic option on a team who already have talent. You would be hearing the name Clayton Keller a lot more of that was the case.
Derek Stepan has taken on a leadership role, and has been decent on the ice, with 10 goals 22 assists. However, Stepan has been more of a role player in his career. He shouldn’t be relied on to carry a team. And that certainly hasn’t happened, as the Coyotes enter tonight with a record of 12-35-5. They’ve lost four in a row and eight of their last ten games. The Wild are coming off an impressive 6-2 win over the Blues in St. Louis. Head below for our free Coyotes vs. Wild pick on Thursday night in the NHL.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild Pick
Without much talent on offence, the Coyotes have struggled mightily to put the puck in the net. It’s not necessarily any one player’s fault on the Coyotes. They’d like to get some better production out of some guys, Max Domi for instance, but there isn’t much you can expect out of this roster. A 19-year-old is the centerpiece of their offence, with a lack of help elsewhere in the lineup. The Coyotes are 30th in the league with 2.28 goals scored per game. It isn’t just the offence, though, there are other trouble spots that they’re going to have to patch up.
The Arizona defence has been getting ripped as well, allowing 3.43 goals per game on the season for 30th in the NHL. There isn’t another team in the NHL who are equally as bad on both ends of the ice. In their last three games, they’ve allowed at least 4 goals in each for an average of 4.6 goals per game. The Wild have been playing well lately, averaging 3.3 goals per in their last ten games. With a record of 29-19-4, the Wild are currently one of those fringe teams. These are the kind of games they have to win. At the end of the regular season, and they’re looking back, a loss against the Yotes would stick out in particular. They’ve been strong as ever at home, posting a record of 18-4-4. That should continue tonight in a convincing victory over the Coyotes on Thursday.
PICK: WILD -1.5 (+130)