Coyotes to Play Vegas in Exhibition Game
The Coyotes - who should in no way be considering hiring Peter Chiarelli - are going to play the Golden Knights tonight.
It's the first game in nearly five months for the Coyotes, who along with the Rangers and Habs, are one of the teams that benefits from the NHL's wacky restart, since they had about a zero percent chance of otherwise being in the playoffs.
Despite all the drama that unfolded in the last week, GMs don't really do a lot during the playoffs anyways (like, I'm sure they have a lot to do in general, but they can't change the players so we are unlikely to notice a difference).
Tonight's game will be........pre-season hockey. So really not worth spending too much time thinking about it since it doesn't count. It will be fun to watch, and that's about it.
The real fun starts on Sunday when the Coyotes will take on the Predators at 2PM.
The Predators are a good matchup for the Coyotes because they aren't that good.
The Predators blue line remains the envy of most teams, but their forwards and goalies are so-so at best.
The Coyotes have a rep as a good defensive team, but what that really means is that they have something approaching the best goalie in the league, and the best back-up. Overall, easily the best combo in the league, but combo's can be deceiving.
Raanta is a great back-up, but the Coyotes added Taylor Hall but still couldn't overcome the loss of Darcy Kuemper, so that should tell you all you need to know about who is going to play net.
The Coyotes would be absolutely nuts to play Raanta barring injury or a complete meltdown by Kuemper.
Overall, Nashville will get last change most of the time and they definitely have the superior roster, but this is the playoffs, and the goalie is the most important player on a hockey team, a situation that heavily favors Phoenix.
The best two players in this series are Kuemper and Taylor Hall, so I expect the Coyotes to win despite the superior depth of Nashville.
As for the two other main things surrounding the team, Sportsnet is reporting that Hall was offered a five year deal at $7.5 which seems low to me.
I am not sure people are comprehending how much of an advantage Canadian teams have in contract negotiations right now.
It's been reported that Hall wants to play at home, and given the political and medical situation of the USA, I can't see players choosing to take discounts to play in places like Arizona.
If Hall was already leaning towards playing in Alberta, you have to think everything that's happened in the last couple of months would only reenforce that. Add in a low ball offer and I don't know.........Hall and Gaudreau would be the best LW combo in the league.
Anyways, its been a long time and its great to be back.