GLENDALE, Ariz. Antoine Vermette is trying to let his stick breathe.
It was OK that he wasn't producing points when the Coyotes won their first three games with him in the lineup. He was still playing sound defense, still winning face-offs, still getting chances like the two posts he hit against Calgary and the goal he had disallowed against Edmonton. He was still contributing in many areas.
But with Phoenix dropping its second straight home game on Saturday a 5-2 shocker at the hands of his woeful former team -- the newest Coyote's grip is getting tighter and tighter, choking the life out of that 5-foot Reebok shaft.
"When you're not winning you want to find a way to help your team," said Vermette, who has zero points in five games with Phoenix. "You don't want to over-think about it, but certainly in a game like tonight it would have been nice to finish a chance off."
It's past that point, actually. The Coyotes need production from Vermette now. That's the simple truth.