The now ARIZONA Coyotes finished last season 2 points out of a playoff spot, where a loss by them and a win by Dallas was the difference. There were many positives from last season, but the one negative cost them the season. That negative was penalty killing. The powerplay was great, as they were 4th on the man-advantage, but if they were a point or two more in percentage on the penalty kill, they would’ve made the postseason. The scoring overall could’ve been better as well, as they were 19th in goals for. They have a lack of depth, which was the problem with both the scoring and penalty killing.
They made some good moves this offseason that could help them sneak into the playoff spot. Devyn Dubnyk was a good acquisition for backing up Mike Smith, although it would’ve been better to keep Thomas Greiss, who posted a 2.29 GAA and a .920 sv %. Dubnyk has been able to post similar numbers, but only had a .894 sv % and a 3.36 GAA last season.
Another acquisition was Joe Vitale, who played for Pittsburgh last year. He was underused there, as he is a very talented depth player. He is a strong penalty killer and a great face-off man. He won 62% last season, and the fact that he is a strong penalty killer could be a huge help for them.
Overall, it’s been a quiet but successful offseason for them. If the acquisition of Vitale improves the penalty kill, which was 26th by the way, they might be a playoff team. I see them maybe in wild card spot, but they are not yet at the point for contending for the Cup.