Originally written on centericechat.com  |  Last updated 9/16/14

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes during the preseason NHL game against the San Jose Sharks at Jobing.com Arena on September 26, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 2-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


The Phoenix Coyotes are peaking just at the right time. And without an owner, the trade deadline came and passed throughout the winding hours without a reflex. The Phoenix Coyotes see the penalty box fewer times than any other team in the NHL. Is their discipline a contribution to success under coach Dave Tippett? The team is performing brilliantly, having just sailed into the top 3 of the Western Conference under the cash-strapped budget given, and coach Dave Tippett is yet again exceeding expectations. But if there’s pitfall of any great team, it’s the inability to stay out of the sin bin. And, then comes the poor penalty kill performance. The ‘Yotes are the team which sees the least amount of time at the man-to-man disadvantage. And while the skill set may not be at an advantage, wouldn’t you suppose numbers outweigh the odds? The Coyotes are eighth in penalty killing with a percentage of 83.9. They’ve fallen at the mercy of the officials for 521 minutes. A close second are the Detroit Red Wings at 563 minutes. The Broad Street Bullies rack in a league-high 1,009 minutes. For the ‘Yotes, the success may not be measure at the success-rate of killing off penalties, but the lack-there-of giving the opponent chances. There are good penalties. The ones necessary to break up a rush and to throw one’s body around that may result in charging, tripping, etc. But Phoenix is tied in fifth for fewest goals against the opponent’s power play, with 30. The New Jersey Devils (88.4 PK percent) are the best in goals against with 24. There are a slew of other factor that play out in the Coyotes’ winning ways of recent. But does their success of staying out of the box, and killing few penalties deserve recognition, or is a team bound by weakness not allowing to be exploited by controllable error? Please feel free to comment, and discuss.   Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24. Be sure to also Like us on Facebook and to Follow our Tumblr page. If you'd like to contribute, or appear as a guest columnist, please email us at CenterIceChat@gmail.com.
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