The Chicago Blackhawks gave the Arizona Coyotes some respect lessons on Tuesday night at Gila River Arena. Chicago scored three-goals on their first five shots, all power play goals, in the first period on their way to a 7-5 road victory.
“We give up five-shots and we’re down 3-2,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. “Which is crazy.”
With the win Chicago improved to 21-13-4 (46 pts) and the Blackhawks are third in the Central Division. Arizona is now 17-16-3 (37 pts) and are tied with Vancouver for second in the Pacific Division. The Coyotes are 3-1-1 in their last five-games.
The only solace for suffering Coyotes fans was the second career hat trick for Doan and in the process he tied Dale Hawerchuk for the franchise record for career goals with 379.
“Obviously I’m a big fan of his (Hawerchuk), Doan said. “It’s great it’s special. It would be a lot nicer if that was to tie the game, instead of making it a two-goal game.”
The Coyotes were down 3-2 after the opening period and the squad pulled their starting goalie. Anders Lindback managed two saves on five-shots, and contributed mightily to the Chicago’s efficient offense. Louis Domingue came off the bench and surrendered pair of goals within the first 6:30 of the second period and the Coyotes were down 5-2 after the second stanza. Domingue made 19-saves on 22-shots in relief.
Arizona made it interesting by scoring three-goals in the third period, two by Doan and one by Connor Murphy. But it was all for not because the Coyotes were their own enemy after an abysmal performance by their goalies and special teams.
“Saves,” Tippett said. “We Need saves. Your goaltender is a big part of your penalty kill.”
The Blackhawks were led Andrew Dejardin’s two goals and Patrick Kane’s 1-2-3. Kane leads the NHL with 53-points, on 22-goals and 31-assists.
Tonight’s game in simpler terms, I don’t want to delve into exaggerated conjecture or some misguided allegory, is where one team is at and where the other team wants to be.
The Blackhawks have drafted well. Retained their franchise players, Kane and Toews are both signed through 2022-2023, and have filled their roster with strong veterans. Arizona is attempting to emulate that template.
The Coyotes want to build around their young forwards Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. They have Dylan Strome maturing in the minors and can also look towards vet like Ekman-Larsson and Doan for leadership.
Of course every team wants to be Chicago. They’re the defending champs and they lead the NHL in attendance at 110% of capacity, which mathematically seems impossible but I studied journalism and never got past Advanced Algebra in school.
Arizona has a proper foundation taking place with their young talent and each game is learning lesson. The Coyotes might obtain the status of the Blackhawks, at this juncture it is impossible to determine. But after tonight’s showing they have a bit of work to do.
The Coyotes are off on Wednesday but will celebrate New Year’s Eve by hosting the Winnipeg Jets. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. (AZ)