Through the last two games against the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings, the Arizona Coyotes are back to playing horrible hockey again, losing 4-1 to the Stars and 6-0 to the Kings.
The Coyotes had looked as if they were turning the corner on a season, but recently it just seems that isn't the case. Since the new year, they had gained seven points in their last nine games before the last two losses.
That momentum came to halt, especially in the L.A. game.
Their offense was listless and almost invisible, as L.A. cranked up their attack over and over again.
The win pushed the Kings into the top-six of the Western Conference narrowly ahead of Dallas and the Minnesota Wild who are in the wild-card spots right now.
First period was competitive
The Kings only managed one goal in the opening stanza, and the Coyotes actually looked competitive thanks to the excellent play in net by Scott Wedgewood, who made 11 saves.
The lone goal by the Kings was scored by Alex Iafallo who was all over the ice in this game, gathering four shots on net to lead his team. He was planted right in front of the Arizona net unattended and had an easy tap-in goal off of a shot from the right boards by Tyler Toffoli.
Disastrous second period
Over the last two games, the second period has been the downfall for the Coyotes' defense. They gave up three unanswered goals in EACH game to really destroy any possibility of staying in the games.
To add salt to the wound, the Coyotes gave up a shorthanded goal to Trevor Lewis to open the floodgates of scoring for the Kings in the middle period. Things went south fast after that.
When you're losing as regularly as the Coyotes, calls just don't seem to go your way. Adrian Kempe's goal which gave the Kings a 3-0 advantage was challenged by head coach Rick Tocchet to no avail.
Even though it appeared that Tanner Pearson interfered with Wedgewood the goal was allowed. The fact that it was clear in the replay that Pearson also high-sticked Wedgwood on the mask... no penalty was called.
From that point forward it was nothing but total inept play by the Coyotes to give the Kings a comfortable 4-0 lead. The Kings threw in a power-play goal by Jake Muzzin for good measure.
The last period was more of the same as the Kings added to their lopsided lead by scoring twice again.
The Coyotes appeared to have scored a goal by Niklas Hjalmarsson, but the Kings challenged the play saying Max Domi was off-side, and to the kind of luck the Desert Dogs have had, the goal was overturned. Domi had entered the zone before Nick Cousins carried the puck across the blueline. NO goal!
Max Domi had enough and he dropped the gloves with Tanner Pearson at 6:48 of the period to try and spark his team, or out of pure frustration and retaliation of Pearson's high-sticking and bowling over of his goalie.
It was the only spark the Coyotes displayed... and it wasn't enough.
What's the plan going forward?
The lack of scoring lately really emphasized the plight of the Coyotes' season and puts the spotlight on what GM John Chayka can do to fix it.
The trade deadline is in three weeks, and this team needs scoring, and defense badly unless they intend to stay in last place in the league for the near future.
As mentioned in a previous article, a player like James Neal would add some offense to the struggling Arizona team. Whether or not Chayka can pull any deals off which will help his team from being the laughing stock of the NHL is yet to be determined.
SOMETHING NEEDS TO HAPPEN!
What was your reaction to this game? Are the Arizona Coyotes going to be making any moves? Let us know in the comments section below.