Phoenix Coyotes 1st Quarter Grades: Def – Goal

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Phoenix Coyotes Report Card For The Defencemen And Goaltenders — 

The Phoenix Coyotes defencemen have all had stretches where they have been a little inconsistent but for the most part have played very well.  The Phoenix Coyotes defence is at their best when Michalek, Morris and Klesla are all healthy and in the line-up complimented by the offence of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle and either David Schlemko or Michael Stone.  The Coyotes have a very good mix of capable defenders.

The Phoenix Coyotes record after the first quarter of the season is 14 – 4 – 3.

Yotes D & G Report

The Phoenix Coyotes received very good goaltending in the first quarter of the season.  Like most NHL teams the Coyotes will need their goaltenders to be at the top of their games every night.  It isn’t an understatement when it is said that the goaltender is the last line of defence.  Teams need good goaltending to make it  into the playoffs but you won’t go very far in the play-offs without great goaltending

I think the good start by the Phoenix Coyotes will allow head coach Dave Tippett to lighten goalie Mike Smith’s workload down the stretch and especially if he makes the Canadian roster for the Olympics.  Thomas Greiss will need a few starts here and there to stay sharp and keep Mike Smith fresh.  This is an absolute must for the future success of this team.  I think a 65 – 17 split would be ideal.

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