New Expectations/Same Problems
The Coyotes are still far from out of the woods as far as their financial problems go, however, as they have not found a new owner and the NHL runs the team. But now the team is far more appealing to a potential buyer as a playoff franchise that enjoyed a nice spike in attendance last year. The Coyotes did much to regain their credibility in the Arizona area and with gamblers at SBG as they posted a record of 50-25-1-6 and were the third ranked defensive team in the NHL last year.
Now Phoenix must do it all again and not slip back into their former losing ways. There is too much at stake for the franchise as a losing season and failure to make the playoffs could truly mean a move to another city.
Loss of Board Value?
Second year head coach Dave Tippett did a masterful job of milking a weak offensive lineup into a defense oriented team that was highly dependent upon goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who had a 2.29 goals against average and 42 wins with 8 shutouts. His save percentage was a sparkling .920. Right winger Radim Vrbata led the team in goals with a modest total of 24 as the Coyotes were a classic muck and grind NHL betting commodity. The lack of scoring is what ultimately did the Coyotes in versus the Detroit Red Wings in their hard fought seven game playoff series last spring.
Beyond the lack of scoring the Coyotes also face the problem of not being a surprise team this year. They will command a new found respect from their opponents and from NHL betting online handicappers which means that their value on the board is not likely to be as good last year when they were the ultimate sleeper pick.
Tippet has adopted the New Jersey Devils system of a suffocating defense and top shelf goaltending. The line is led by the dependable tandem of Ed Jovanovski and Keith Yandle. A key loss was Matthew Lombardi, who was the second leading scorer last year. Phoenix is a young NHL betting commodity that will have to continue to buy into Tippett’s system for success.