Anyone else stressing over how the Arizona Coyotes have yet to win a game in preseason? Yes I know it’s not really a common sentence in the English Language, but for all the Coyote faithful, a lot has come about since training camp began just a few weeks ago.
There is so much youth that is filling around this squad, and there are three potential rookies that could see themselves on the opening day roster. Max Domi and Anthony DuClair are supposed to be the players of the future the Coyotes are building around. Through their first four games, combined they only have an assist credited to Domi. While on the ice they are a tough duo who knows how to communicate, but on the stat sheet there hasn’t been much shown.
Dylan Strome, the third pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, however, has shown he wants to find a place on the team early. In his second preseason game he picked up a goal, and he feels rather comfortable playing with the veterans. Right now there isn’t much talk about Strome making the roster, but as of right now he has made one of the final cuts.
Then again, to possibly make the team on “merit” doesn’t seem all that appetizing, but a chance to be in Glendale come October is still a heavy possibility.
“He’s here on merit,” Tippett said after a practice, “He is very poised. Some players look very poised in practice, and then in a game they have a hard time translating. He’s almost the other way.”
There has been a lot of confidence that has been sitting with Strome, and he has played rather well. Management is a little concerned about that mental state could affect how he views the regular season, where the toughness increases with much different talent on the ice.
“I’m a little surprised that Dylan Strome has been able to waltz in here and do as well as he has to date,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “As we all know, that can change in a hurry. But to me, he’s just playing. He’s not overly concerned about the future. He’s just another name at the start of training camp I would not have thought he would be as effective so far as he has been. So we’ll see.”
One major issue the Coyotes have suffered through year after year is a lack of consistency. It has been the running theme, and more often it has cost them a playoff spot since the lockout three years ago. The Coyotes have old veterans, yet, the youth are trying to see how well they can fare out with some good experience.
“You’re less about player evaluation and more about finding the rhythm of your team and lines, structure of your game, special teams,” Tippett said. “All those things have really got to get put into place this week.”
Last night against Vancouver the usual weak offense was back at it, only taking 10 shots through the first two periods. They conceded the game’s only goal in the third, but another lackluster performance has the team wonder a bit as to how their project is starting to fare.
“We’re just going to keep going with the players we think are playing well as far as we can, and then we’ll see where everything pans out,” Tippett said. “We’re very open to whoever can make us better.”
Winning doesn’t matter, but shaking the cob webs out with just over a week to go is what’s most important for this Arizona team to start the new season strong.