A few blogs ago, I wrote about how confident I was that the Coyotes were going to use that dramatic, come-from-behind, overtime victory over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Jan. 26 as a springboard to bigger and better things.
Well, they’ve lost only one game since.
The Coyotes, who are a textbook example of a superstar-less team playing effectively as a unit, have won six of their past seven games. They are indeed “for real.”
I have a great job. I get to go into the dressing room every day and talk to the players firsthand about what they are accomplishing this season and what their expectations are. I can tell you that the confidence and expectations inside the dressing room are increasing with each victory the team banks.
Not too long ago, the Coyotes would have been content to earn just one point and lose in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks in a rink filled with 22,000 fans cheering against them. Suddenly, as proven on Friday night, that mindset is out the window. This Coyotes team knows it’s capable of beating any team on any night and they want TWO points every time they hit the ice. Frankly, it’s a refreshing change.
I give a lot of the credit to Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett, who loves to win and hates to lose. You can feel that mentality taking over the dressing room.
The Coyotes already have earned 75 points. Let me write that again. The Coyotes already have earned 75 points. And they still have 23 games to play. The hope is that the Olympic break doesn’t derail what they are on track to achieve. I am confident Tippett and his staff won’t let that happen.
Readers have written me asking to discuss what moves the Coyotes might be looking to make before the NHL trade deadline after the Olympics.
I can tell you the Coyotes would like to add a player to help them score more goals and that a little more depth on the blue line is coveted.
Having written that, keep in mind that General Manager Don Maloney is concerned about maintaining the close-knit dynamic and positive vibe surrounding this group of players right now.
“I like our mix,” Maloney told me. “And one thing that we are very, very conscious of is the chemistry we have in the room. Anybody we’d bring in would have to be somebody that could fit into this group.”
Thanks for reading.