Found September 16, 2013 on
This 2013-14 NHL season preview features the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes have dealt with ownership uncertainty for years now and, until last season, were able to make the best of it making the playoffs for 3 consecutive seasons. This past season was a little more difficult. The general lack of depth and consistent offensive production were constant obstacles in the tough Western Conference. Still, they only missed the playoffs by 4 points, giving players and fans hope that, with the ownership situation finally looking like it’s behind them, they can chalk up this past season as an aberration and look to return to the post-season. What went right in 2012-13 If there’s one constant throughout the Coyotes’ ups and downs, it’s defenseman Keith Yandle. He finished the season with 10 goals and 20 assists, leading the team with 30 points. He also averaged over 22 minutes a night and never missed a game. Yandle has registered between a 41 and 59 point pace in each of his last 4 seasons. DC01468 by sapah_fu Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic via Flickr Also on defense, the evolution of Oliver Ekman-Larsson into one the game’s premier defensemen continued this season. He led the team with over 25 minutes per game, and put up career highs in assists (21) and points (24) in 48 games. The talented 21 year-old is still only scratching the surface of his ability. Phoenix also saw a definite step forward in the development of Mikkel Boedker. The young two-way forward earned a bigger role with the club this season playing over 18 minutes per game. He responded with 26 points in 48 games, which translates into 45 points over an 82 game season. He’s very fast and he’s a smart playmaker who likely still has another level or two that he can reach. What went wrong in 2012-13 After a Vezina calibre season in 2012, goaltender Mike Smith was rather mediocre, posting a .910 save percentage and 2.58 GAA. He did register 5 shutouts, but if the offensively challenged Coyotes are to contend for a playoff spot, Smith will need to find the consistency that carried the team to a first round upset of the Chicago Blackhawks two seasons ago. With just 4 players on the roster who have ever scored 20+ goals in the NHL, and no forward managing to hit 30 points, the Coyotes’ lack of depth and offensive ability definitely hurt their chances this past season. Their shooting percentage was among the worst in the league, in spite of the fact that they were in the top third for 5-on-5 goals for/against. Both special team’s were absolutely horrible for Phoenix this season. The penalty kill ranked 22nd in the NHL at 79.9%, while the power-play was even worse placing 25th at 14.8%. So what did they do to get better? Ray Whitney was a huge loss for this team. As an elite playmaker, they were able to filter all the offense through him and he was able to make everyone he played with better. By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons The organisation recognised this as an important need, and addressed it by adding center Mike Ribeiro. While a little bit more of a shooter than Whitney, Ribeiro’s ability to make plays and find teammates in comparable. He hasn’t been without his issues between the ears however, so on a squad that’s very much about the group rather than the individuals, it remains to be seen if he can fit in. The only other addition was backup goaltender Thomas Greiss. The German netminder has had a solid career in San Jose thus far. While not quite good enough to be a full-time starter in the NHL, he can certainly push the #1 goaltenders enough to get the most out of them. Player to watch Center Mike Ribeiro will likely be the focal point of the offense, however he’ll have to play responsible enough defense as well. The Coyotes don’t have much in terms of offense however, so he may get a longer leash than most. They will make the playoffs if… Mike Smith stands on his head and Mike Ribeiro creates enough offense to win 1-0 or 2-1 games. They will miss the playoffs if… They can’t find some scoring from some unexpected players currently in the system. Trade bait I’d look for defenseman Derek Morris to attract considerable interest as the trade deadline nears. He’s a UFA at season’s end, he’s experienced and can play many different situations. He’s an ideal addition to a contending team’s defense corps. Rookie most likely to have an impact Even though he’s played enough games to not be considered a rookie, David Rundblad is at a point in his career where he needs to show he’s ready for the show. He’s got considerable offensive talent and has had some issues committing to the defensive aspect of the game. If he can round out his game a little, he could be comparable to Erik Karlsson. He’s that good. What should we expect this season? The Coyotes’ ownership situation really caused havoc on the whole organisation. There are plenty of good young pieces coming up through the system, but there isn’t much quality or depth on the roster right now. While the defense and goaltending is solid enough with Yandle, Ekman-Larsson and Smith, there is very little scoring in the desert. It could be a long season for the new ownership group, but that likely means a shot at possibly drafting a franchise player next summer. Prediction 30-40-12, 72 points, 6th in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference The post 2013-14 NHL Season Preview: Phoenix Coyotes appeared first on

A Look At Keith Yandle

from Chris Lomon of, Keith Yandle playing goaltender for the Phoenix Coyotes? No, one of the game’s top two-way defenceman won’t be tending the twine in Arizona. But there was a time when the blueliner did turn away his fair share of slapshots. During his days growing up in Massachusetts, Yandle had his sights set on the goaltending position when he first started...

Coyotes' Klesla leaves ice on stretcher after hit

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Coyotes defenseman Rusty Klesla left the ice on a stretcher after absorbing a big open-ice hit from the Kings' Jordan Nolan in the first period of the teams' preseason opener Sunday at Arena. Phoenix assistant general manager Brad Treliving said the issue appears to be with Klesla's neck. He was being examined at the arena before being taken...

Paul Bissonnette Suspended Ten Regular Season Games

NEW YORK (September 16, 2013) – Phoenix Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette has been automatically suspended for 10 regular-season games, without pay, as a result of being assessed a Game Misconduct penalty for leaving the bench on an illegal line change to join an altercation during NHL Preseason Game No. 9 against Los Angeles Sunday night in Glendale, Arizona. At 12:09 of the...

Coyotes' Bissonnette suspended 10 games for fight

The NHL is suspending Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular-season games after the Coyotes forward left the bench to fight during a preseason game. Bissonnette was given a game misconduct 12:09 into the first period Sunday night against the Kings when he came off the bench on an illegal line change to fight Jordan Nolan after Nolan hit Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla. Klesla was...

Paul Bissonnette Suspended 10 Regular-Season Games After Leaving Bench to Fight Jordan Nolan (Video)

The Phoenix Coyotes will be without their enforcer for the beginning of the regular season. The NHL suspended Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular-season games after the Coyotes left winger left the bench during an altercation during Sunday night’s preseason tilt against the Los Angeles Kings. Bissonnette was given a game misconduct during the first period when he came off the bench...

Klesla recovering after taking hit

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla is resting at home a day after being wheeled off the ice following a hit by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jordan Nolan. Klesla was injured in the first period of Phoenix's opening preseason game Sunday night when Nolan knocked him off his skates. The hit triggered a series of fights among players on both teams and led to four 10-minute...

Coyotes' Klesla resting at home after whiplash, concussion

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla was resting comfortably at home Monday after suffering a concussion and whiplash during a preseason game Sunday game against the Los Angeles Kings coach Dave Tippett said at an afternoon press conference. Klesla was taken from the ice at Arena on a stretcher midway through the first period after a hit by Kings forward Jordan...

Bissonnette gets 10-game suspension

The NHL on Monday suspended Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular-season games after the Phoenix Coyotes forward left the bench to fight during a preseason game. Bissonnette was given a game misconduct 12:09 into the first period Sunday night against the Kings when he came off the bench on an illegal line change to fight Jordan Nolan after Nolan hit Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla...

Coyotes post 5-1 split-squad win over Kings

Brandon Yip had two goals and an assist, Gilbert Brule and Rob Klinkhammer scored power-play goals 4 1-2 minutes apart in the first period, and David Rundblad had three assists to lead a Phoenix Coyotes split squad to a 5-1 preseason victory over a Los Angeles Kings split squad on Sunday night. The Coyotes earned a sweep of split-squad games between the teams when they beat the...

Coyotes' Klesla leaves ice on stretcher after big hit

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rusty Klesla left the ice on a stretcher after absorbing a big open-ice hit from the Los Angeles Kings' Jordan Nolan at 9:44 of the first period of the teams' preseason opener Sunday at Arena. Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving said the issue appeared to be with Klesla's neck. Klesla was examined at the arena before...

Paul Bissonnette receives a 10-game suspension

The first major suspension of the year has been handed out. This statement is pretty incredible considering the NHL's regular season hasn't even started yet. The league has suspended Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular season games after he left the bench to join in on an altercation during a preseason game between Phoenix and Los Angeles.  Paul Bissonnette has been automatically...

Rusty Klesla Sent To Hospital For Observation After Hit From Jordan Nolan

from QMI AGENCY/Toronto Sun, It didn't look good for Coyotes defenceman Rostislav Klesla as he took a brutal hit to the head Sunday night and had to be taken off on a stretcher during a pre-season NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately, the game was not televised locally, but was recorded. One of two games played between both clubs -- one in Glendale...

Why There Was No Action Taken Against Jordan Nolan For His Hit On Klesla

No supplemental discipline for Jordan Nolan for bodycheck on Rostislav Klesla. Video: — NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) September 16, 2013
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