‘Pack Mentality’ is a new column here on Sports360AZ.com to keep you up to date with what’s happening around the Arizona Coyotes. This week the ‘Yotes are getting back into the swing of things after a five-day break. As they get into the second half of the season here’s what to make note of:
Monday, Coyote’s captain Shane Doan responded to trade rumors saying that to waive his no-trade clause the move would have to be the perfect fit. Don’t fret ‘Yotes fans, Doan isn’t pursuing any trades, but he did say he wouldn’t rule it out if it was brought forward by the franchise.
Hey Now, You’re an All-Star
When Coyotes general manager John Chayka called during the bye week, goalie Mike Smith expected bad news, but what he got was a surprise he didn’t see coming. Chayka was calling to tell Smith he had been selected to play in the 2017 NHL All-Star game. The honor was unexpected for Smith, but he is excited to represent the Coyotes in Los Angeles at the end of the month, he said.
“Obviously being a goalie, you don’t get to an All-Star game if it wasn’t for your team in front of you,” Smith said. “As much as sometimes we’ve struggled this year we’ve been doing a lot of things well…I think everyone on the team deserves some credit for sending a goalie to an All-Star game.”
The 34-year-old is the 43rd All-Star in franchise history and the 12th player selected to the All-Star team since the Coyotes moved to Arizona from Winnipeg. Smith is only the third goalie from the franchise selected to play in the game.
Monday night, Smith proved he belongs among the best with this impressive save.
The save of the year contest has a new and fantastic entry. pic.twitter.com/8OIDsiipI7
— NHL (@NHL) January 17, 2017
Also during the week off, the Coyotes brought Brendan Perlini and Laurent Dauphin back up from AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners. Perlini showed right away he belonged on the ice with the ‘Yotes Friday night as the rookie scored two goals in the Coyotes 4-3 win against Winnipeg at Gila River. The goals made Perlini the first British-born rookie with a multi-goal game since Steve Thomas in 1986.
— NHL (@NHL) January 14, 2017
It’s no secret that the Coyotes have had their fair share of ups and downs this year. After coming off the break, the Coyotes have gone 1-2 in their first three games back. On Monday night after a loss against the Edmonton Oilers, head coach Dave Tippett said that it was the team’s worst performance in a month.
“When you’re not emotionally engaged in the game, your execution is off, your checking is off, you just don’t give yourself a chance,” Tippett said.
The Coyotes are on the road this week. They’ll look to bounce back against Winnipeg Wednesday and Minnesota Thursday. They’ll be back in the Valley for the rest of the month on Saturday.
The Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, have been impressive as of late. The Roadrunners have a four-game win streak that they are hoping to extend with a second win against the Ontario Reign Wednesday. The players at this level are worth keeping an eye on, they’re the future of the ‘Yotes. Prospect Christian Fischer was voted as the AHL Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 9-15 after notching three goals and four assists in three games.
— Tucson Roadrunners (@RoadrunnersAHL) January 17, 2017