Arizona Coyotes (34–29–5) vs Chicago Blackhawks (29–30–9)
Chicago – Corey Crawford (9–15–2, SV%: .899, GAA: 3.31)
Arizona – Darcy Kuemper (22–15–5, SV%: .920, GAA: 2.48)
Chicago (21.0%, 11th)
Arizona (17.0%, 24th)
Chicago (73.1%, 31st)
Arizona (85.1%, 2nd)
Chicago (32.4, 11th; 34.9, 30th)
Arizona (30.8, 20th; 30.8, 12th)
Chicago (10.2%, 8th)
Arizona (8.6%, 28th)
Chicago (49.4%, 20th)
Arizona (47.0%, 30th)
Chicago 6’1”, 195lbs
Arizona 6’1” 194lbs
After it was made clear that tryout time had begun in Chicago, the Blackhawks traveled to Dallas and won a tight 2-1 game against the playoff sitting Dallas Stars. The win featured Alex DeBrincat scoring his 37th goal of the year and David Kampf scoring his first goal since returning from injury.
Key players to keep an eye on for Chicago continue to be Dylan Sikura, John Hayden and Brendan Perlini. These three players have some questionmarks as to where they fit in the organization, and certainly need an opportunity to prove themselves to the front office for next season. It is safe to expect similar lines to last game; the only difference may be Sikura riding the bench again when Hayden gets a shot with Jonathan Toews.
The Coyotes have been an interesting team all season long. As a group, they have lost numerous critical players throughout the year. Notable names that have missed a lot of time include Jason Demers, Christian Dvorak, Nick Schmaltz and Derek Stepan, who was recently sidelined. Despite the injuries, the Coyotes are still winning games and keeping themselves in the playoff discussion.
This game is very important for Arizona. The Coyotes are only one point out of the final wildcard spot with a game in hand over the Minnesota Wild. A win over the Blackhawks in Chicago puts the former-Blackhawk heavy roster in a playoff spot. The Coyotes have been carried by great defense all season long, especially considering their leading point scorer hasn’t broken the 50 point mark (Keller) and their leading goal scorer has 16 goals (Richardson). The Coyotes prove that you can win with great defense, even if lacking the scoring ability.