Geregistreerd op: 25 Mei 2018
|Geplaatst: 09-08-2018 08:45:03 Onderwerp: NOT SIGNING
|The Arizona Coyotes were one of the NHL’s best teams the final two months of the 2017-18 season Saquon Barkley Jersey Elite , playing the kind of hockey coach Rick Tocchet envisioned his first season in the desert.
If only they had started rolling a few months earlier.
Plagued by the worst start in franchise history, the Coyotes finished last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, yet they have a glimmer of hope for the future thanks to their flourish to the finish.
”There’s a lot of good positive things and we just have to keep pushing the pedal. We can’t stand pat,” Tocchet said. ”We can’t pat ourselves on the back, `Hey, we had a great second half.’ We’re still one of the bottom teams, which is reality, but saying that I thought we made a lot of strides.”
The Coyotes made dramatic changes in hopes of ending their postseason-less run. Arizona parted ways with coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with Tocchet. Longtime captain Shane Doan’s contract was not renewed, No. 1 goalie Mike Smith was traded to Calgary and the Coyotes brought in a new group of players they hoped would lead the franchise out of its rut.
Antti Raanta became the new top goalie Antonio Callaway Color Rush Jersey , defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was added to shore up the defense and Derek Stepan was expected to be the top-line center the team had sought for years.
Little went according to plan. Raanta missed the first seven games with a lower-body injury and the Coyotes had trouble holding on to leads – when they could get them – and opened the season 1-12-1. Arizona could not escape the deep early hole, laboring at the bottom of the NHL standings throughout the first half of the season.
The Coyotes started to click after the All-Star break. Raanta was healthy and stopping shots. The defense, a detriment early, tightened up. The offense, led by a core of young scorers, started to flow instead of sputter.
Arizona went 17-9-3 over its final 29 games, finishing 29-41-12 with 70 points. The Coyotes were still last in the Pacific Division, but managed to finish ahead of Ottawa and Buffalo among the league’s bottom dwellers.
”I’ve got all the confidence in this group,” said Stepan Logan Woodside Color Rush Jersey , who had 14 goals and was second on the team with 56 points. ”They’ve learned a lot this season and you’ve got to be able to carry that over into next season and continue to learn, and the older guys got to learn from the younger guys. It’s got to be a balanced group.”
RAANTA’S RIDE: Raanta had a rough ride his first season as a No. 1 goalie, battling through separate injuries. Once he was healthy, the Finnish goalie played like the Coyotes had hoped he would after trading for him from the New York Rangers.
Raanta finished the season 21-17-6 with a 2.24 goals-against average and a save percentage of .930. He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Coyotes locked him up for the next three years with a $12.75 million contract just before the season ended.
”He stops the puck,” Coyotes GM John Chayka said. ”He just seems to, when he’s on, he’s locked in and he’s reading everything and making the game look easy. You put up his numbers both this season and over his career, he’s a high http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mark-walton-jersey , high-end goaltender in terms of stopping the puck.”
KELLER’S RISE: Clayton Keller got his rookie season off to a sizzling start, went through a dry scoring spell and finished strong to put himself in the Calder Trophy conversation.
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 draft was the NHL’s leading rookie scorer during the season’s first month with nine goals and 15 assists before going 17 games without a goal into December. Keller closed strong with six goals and 15 assists in March and April, finishing with 23 goals and 65 points to lead the Coyotes in both categories.
SIGNING OEL: One of the Coyotes’ top offseason priorities will be trying to sign All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson as he heads into the last year of his contract.
Once thought to be a trade target during Arizona’s rebuilding process, the Finnish defenseman remained a core player for the Coyotes, finishing fourth on the team with 42 points. He wants to stay in the desert and the Coyotes want him, so it’s a matter of coming to terms.
More NHL hockey: Zack Godley followed one of his worst outings of the season with perhaps his best. Perfect timing for Arizona, too.
Godley pitched six effective innings in his 10th win, helping the Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Friday night.
Arizona improved to 2-6 on its 10-game homestand and regained sole possession of first place in the NL West from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 3-2 to the Angels.
Godley (10-6) allowed one run and four hits while improving to 5-1 in his last six starts. He was rocked for seven runs in four innings in a loss to San Francisco in his last outing.
”The way this game works you kind of have to let it go and move on Chad Thomas Color Rush Jersey ,” Godley said. ”Baseball is a short-memory sport.”
Asked what was working, he said: ”my curve and my defense.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Godley’s command was ”as good as I can remember.”
”There’s been a couple of games so far this year where he has had outings like that,” Lovullo said. ”But today’s was one of the better ones that I’ve seen in a long time.”
Steven Souza Jr. drove in two runs with a single and fielder’s choice in his second game back from the disabled list. Souza has played in just 17 games this season due to a right pectoral injury.
Joey Lucchesi (4-4) retired 14 in a row before Arizona scored twice in the sixth. Lucchesi went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and three hits with two strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters.
He grazed A.J. Pollock with a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the tying run.
Nick Ahmed doubled, singled and scored twice for the Diamondbacks. Brad Boxberger threw a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 25 tries.
The Padres have lost 14 of 18.
Lucchesi’s first big league hit helped the Padres take the lead in the third. The rookie singled to left, advanced to third on Travis Jankowski’s long single to the right-field corner and scored when Carlos Asuaji grounded out.
The Diamondbacks threatened in the first when David Peralta was hit by a pitch and Paul Goldschmidt lashed a ground-rule double that bounced into the Arizona bullpen. But they came up empty when Pollock grounded out and Souza struck out looking.
Arizona didn’t get another baserunner until Godley drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one-out singles by Ahmed and Goldschmidt and Lucchesi hit Pollock to bring in the tying run.
That was it for Lucchesi. Reliever Adam Cimber bobbled Souza’s slow grounder and still got the out at first, but Ahmed scored and the Diamondbacks led 2-1.
”He threw the ball well,” Padres manager Andy Green said of Lucchesi. ”We didn’t do too much for him offensively. You get to that sixth inning Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey , his pitch count is low. You want to see him attack that inning. The thing that hurts him is the walk to Godley. Outside of that I think it was a very good day for him.”
Ahmed led off the eighth with a double and scored on Souza’s two-out single.
Padres: RHP Phil Hughes (right rhomboid strain) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and RHP Kirby Yates returned from paternity leave. RHPs Kazuhisa Makita and Robert Stock were optioned to Triple-A El Paso.
Diamondbacks: RHP Randall Delgado (strained left oblique) was reinstated from the 60-day DL. RHP Fernando Salas was designated for assignment.
California high school shortstop Matt McLain, Arizona’s first-round pick and the 25th overall player taken in the draft, informed the Diamondbacks he will not sign with them and will instead enroll at UCLA. The Diamondbacks will get a compensatory pick, the 27th overall, next year.
Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (3-1. 4.89 ERA) makes his third start since returning from the disabled list and San Diego counters with RHP Tyler Ross (5-6, 3.89 ERA) on Saturday night in the third game of the four-game series.