The Phoenix Coyote’s made a big splash on NHL trade deadline day. The team, who was expected to be run out of town this year, has had an impressive year thus far. Coyote’s fans were a little down after then team point leader Scottie Upshall was hurt and not to return for the rest of the season, but now fans can cheer as the Coyote’s stocked up not only for the rest of the season, but for the upcoming playoff run. Here is a run down of those additions.
Wojtek Wolski has 2 goals and an assist in the two games played under a new jersey. In addition, he has a +3 rating and the game winning goal against his former team the Colorado Avalanche. Wolski was a stud in his Junior career earning the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP in the 2006 season. The trend seems to be continuing, and at the young age of 24, it is only expected he will get better and better.
Derek Morris returns home as he played with the Coyotes for 5 seasons from 2003-2009. The tough defenseman has put up a power play assist, +3 rating, and has already been in a fight. Morris’ physical presence in front of the net will assist in keeping it clean for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Mathieu Schneider has yet to play a game with the Coyotes and is currently playing with their AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage. The veteran defensman has been in question of his capabilities at his age, but optimist think he will be a good addition especially come playoff time.
Lee Stempniak entered the league at the tender age of 19 with the St. Louis Blues and posted an impressive 27 points. Since then, he has had a high of 52 points, but averages more around 35 points. Since joining the Coyotes, Stempniak has a point in each of his two games, a +3 rating, and 3 shots each game. Stempniak’s point production should be solid, making the third line even more dangerous than what it is already with the likes of sniper Robert Lang.
I cannot say I know too much about young center Petteri Nokelainen, but it seems he will be playing on the fourth line. Many people overlook the importance of this line thinking of it as less ice time away from better lines. True as that may be, those lines do need rest, and a good fourth line does not only give them that rest, they also keep pucks from going in the net. Nokelainen is currently sporting a balanced +/- rating, not scoring any goals, but not letting any in.
The Phoenix Coyote’s made some great steps to improving their already solid team. As much as I love my home team the Wing’s, I will be rooting for the Coyote’s this year in the playoffs. Let’s go Yotes!