ESQ wrote: ↑Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:30 pm
Coyotes getting a lot of love
Yes, they added the biggest name in the Pac with Kessel, but their leading scorer got 47 points, and nobody got 20 goals.
And that was a season with almost no injuries.
Lacked injury... sarcasm?
Nick Schmaltz missed half the season. He was brought in to be a top line player. He had better work; the Coyotes gave up Strome and Perlini to get him.
Chychrun missed almost half the season. He is a top 4 defenseman with #1 overall potential (all situations, 25+ minutes a game, match up against top lines) who reminds me of Edler -- the size, the physicality when used (and not used), the offensive potential, and, yes, his familiarity with medical doctors. Chychrun is only 21 years old -- greatness is still possible; the floor (barring career ending injury) is an oft-injured quality player.
Their #1 goalie was injured for the whole season. Kuemper did fine, but it the Coyotes got lucky there.
Jason Demers tore his ACL and missed more than half the season. He's a decent second pairing player, no worse than a # 5 guy.
Grabner also missed half the season. He's the kind of depth that you use to move around the offense when your plan A doesn't work because of injury.
Stepan, Galchenyuk, and Histronoza all missed 10 games -- all top 6 on the Coyotes. Most teams experience that, but when you are marginal offensively (as the Canucks know), it can make a huge difference.
If you look at $$ lost, one might conclude that the Coyotes didn't have it so bad. But Schmaltz and Chychrun were on ELC's. The Coyotes were ravaged with injuries -- in the same general tier as the Canucks in the bad luck department.
The Coyotes are competing every bit as much with the Canucks to get a top 3 spot in the Pacific or a wild card. Their improvements from health + personnel will arguably be as great as the Canucks. But I think Kuemper is a big question mark, I am not sold on Schmaltz, they still are going to struggle to score enough (unless Keller truly breaks out), and the Coyotes need to adjust OEL's usage to match his on-ice play and not his reputation. But if things break, they also could be a 100 point team.
The main reason that I have them "out" and the Canucks more likely to be "in" is that (1) I expect the Canucks best forwards are better players, (2) I think Kuemper's likelihood on playing poorly is greater than Marky's, (3) the Canucks additions have the effect of removing their worst players (Guddy, Pouliot, to a lesser degree Hutton, Leivo (from a top 6), whereas the Coyotes only addition was to replace one of their best players (albeit with a better player), and (4) the Coyotes seem to have a destiny to be on the outside looking in.
On the flip side, a healthy Coyotes defense corps better than Vancouver's healthy defense corps.