Scouting the Enemy: Anaheim Ducks vs. Arizona Coyotes

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November 7, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy (5) and right wing Shane Doan (19) help goalie Mike Smith (41) defend the goal against Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Coyotes are a team that truly depends on scoring from throughout their lineup. The team last season had eight separate players who scored 40 points, but no player reached the 60 point mark last season (Keith Yandle led the way with 53 points). This season, no Coyotes player is projected to reach the 60 point mark again. How have the Coyotes been so successful at winning despite the lack of a great scoring threat (100 wins in the past three seasons and top 10 in the West each year in that span)? Also, are there any players coming up who could potentially be the scoring threat that the Coyotes need, such as the extremely talented Max Domi?

Richie: All hail coach Tippett. The Coyotes have definitely lacked the talent of the top tier teams in the Western Conference, but they have been able to succeed because everyone bought into the system that Dave Tippett implemented. They knew exactly who they were as a team, and they embraced it. Hockey the hard way was an attitude and it showed on the ice. They were able to get “the Wizard” (Ray Whitney) to find his youth playing alongside Radim Vrbata, and most of all, they had great goaltending. It still irks me that Ilya Bryzgalov and Mike Smith got robbed of Vezina nominations during a couple of the most successful Coyotes seasons.

Bill: They have done it with good defense and goaltending, along with some skilled forechecking. The way I look at it, if the opponent can’t get out of their own end, they aren’t going to score very often. The lack of scoring, yet being fairly competitive is puzzling, but if you play a low scoring game and your defense falters, you can see how that is working for them this season.

YES: there are several players up there whom I believe will help this team’s meager offensive numbers. Max Domi and  Henrik Samuelsson are two who come to mind. I also think Justin Hodgman has a chance to propel himself into the scoring totals soon. Tobias Rieder, who was called up recently, has some speed and can shoot the puck. But to play in Dave Tippett’s system, these young players must learn to play the two-way game, or they will not move up to the NHL. Domi especially needs to improve in this area, and I believe he is working on it.