After 40 years as a franchise, the Arizona Coyotes maintains its standards of being a popular team in the NHL that works hard to produce incredible and winning games every week. From their home at Gila River Arena, the team has successfully defended their home arena in 7 games so far, but no one can deny that the men in red and black produce hall of fame worthy games every time they hit the ice. Over 17,000 fans flood the arena to cheer on their favorite players and teams and watch every exciting moment of the competition unfold. Every goal, every steal, every rush down the ice leaves true hockey fans glued to their seat and holding their breath for every hard-fought point.
Is it any wonder why tickets sell out fast for their games? Well, you can beat the rush and make sure you get the best seats in the house so you can enjoy the best that professional hockey has to offer.
But if you’re still on the fence about whether to come out and see the games, then think again, because the current season is one you can’t afford to miss. The Coyotes are eager to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season when they were the Phoenix Coyotes. Your favorite players and the leadership of the current head coach, Rick Tocchet, are working hard to give Coyotes fans what they want. If you come to the games then you can catch the new strategies and classic gameplans that have continued to delight Coyotes fans for over four decades of intense hockey action.
So what are you waiting for? The Coyotes are ready to hit the ice and can’t wait for you to see how their next home game ends up!
The Arizona Coyotes are at the top of their game and here’s why
This year marks one of the best years for the Arizona Coyotes since their 2011-12 playoff year. Not only has the team reached the second-place standing in their division with only two wins fewer than the Edmonton Oilers, but they are also producing incredible matches that sports fans talk about even days after the end of game buzzer sounds. Everyone knew that this may be a huge year for the franchise from the moment they ended the preseason with a strong 3-2 away game record. Fans were not disappointed when the Coyotes won most of their games during October and November with 7 wins vs 4 losses and 8 wins vs 3 losses respectively.
But why is the team at the top of their game this year and why do fans believe that this could be the Coyotes chance at a playoff berth? You can look no further than the team’s core players to figure out why.
Let’s start with Forwards Nick Schmaltz, Christian, Dvorak, and Clayton Keller. These players are 3 of the Coyotes best forwards this season, even after Keller’s less than stellar opening early in the season. The players are skilled, young, and ready to shoot up the ranks with stats and averages that seem to improve every time they take the ice. Between Schmaltz and Dvorak, the players combined for 12 points as of late-October early-November, with Keller adding 6 assists that prove that he is both a star player and a setup king. The players have time on their side, all being in their early 20s and younger and, as they improve and gain seasoning, will provide long term benefits to the Coyotes offense. Which helps since these players are all signed for at least the 2024-25 season.
But no offensive gameplan lasts indefinitely, so the Coyotes need a rock-solid defense to protect from opposing points. That’s where Oliver Ekman-Larsson comes in. Ekman-Larsson has protected the line for a long time and has the presence, skill, and game awareness to quickly respond to opposing team surprises. His performance has blocked more goals and drives than most players with similar levels of experience making him a rock-solid wall that offenses break upon.
All of this points to the indisputable fact that the Coyotes have the tools they need to excel this year. It’s exciting to see if the Coyotes can maintain their stranglehold in the division and make that extra push they need to make it to the playoffs. Many sportswriters believe that if that push will happen, it will be determined by their at-home performance. So those are the games to see.
What Do You Need to Know about Rick Tocchet?
Current Coyotes head coach, Rick Tocchet, was a former hockey player who played 18 seasons as a right-winger for teams including the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, and the Washington Capitals. His experience led him to assume a head coaching position for various teams as well as a sports analyst on Flyers Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet. When Tocchet became head coach for the Coyotes, many fans were curious if he was the right call for bringing the team back to a winning position and, if the current season has anything to say about it, he may be the right choice.
But why is he the right choice?
You need to look no further than his coaching career that began as an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche in 2002-03. He would later become an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes during the summer of 2005 as well as a stint as interim head coach for Phoenix on December 17 that same year, when then-head coach Wayne Gretzky was on indefinite leave due to his mother’s illness. During his tenure, the team went 2-3-0 until Gretzky returned to service on December 28.
Tocchet was later named as associate coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 9, 2008, where he served until he took a stint as interim head coach when Barry Melrose was fired after a disappointing 5-7-4 record. Tocchet lost his first game in the role to the Caroline Hurricanes in a shootout but won two games later against the Nashville Predators. Despite his later losses that season, he was signed on as a full-time head coach on May 11, 2009. When ownership of the franchise changed, Tocchet was relieved of his position, allowing him to sign on with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach on June 25, 2014.
This is where Tocchet’s fortunes changed, where he would gain the experience needed to help lead the Penguins to two Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017. This victory made it an easy choice for the now Arizona Coyotes to call Tocchet back into service, naming him as head coach on July 11, 2017.