Coyotes coach said Darcy Kuemper will return to Arizona and get evaluated there. The team will have a better sense of his timeline after that.
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) March 9, 2021
Darcy Kuemper Injured, Out for the Coyotes
Kuemper has been one half of the elite goalie tandem in Glendale. In 18 starts this season, he has a 7-7-2 record, with a save percentage of .914 and a goals against average of 2.41, and 3.4 goals saved above average. Last season, he started 29 times, going 16-11-2. He posted a .928 save percentage and a 2.22 GAA, with an incredible 16.7 goals saved above average. In his nine-year career spanning three teams, Kuemper has started 213 games, and has a 103-79-31 record. His overall save percentage is a .918, with a GAA of 2.45. While these numbers aren’t the mark of a top tier goaltender, the Coyotes’ recent struggles have challenged him.
While Kuemper has been playing extremely well, Antti Raanta is a very respectable option at backup. He’s the second piece of the goalie tandem that has kept Arizona somewhat competitive in the West Division. Unfortunately, Raanta has been struggling this season, with a 3.65 GAA through six games. If Kuemper is out for longer than expected, Raanta may be challenged beyond his capabilities. He came in last night to stop 16 shots in 17:40 minutes of play to help the Coyotes win, and even got credit for the win.
The Coyotes continue their two-game series against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, and it’s no secret how explosive their offence is. Especially with a weaker defensive unit that relies on Kuemper to bail them out often, the Avalanche are going to be a major problem. With the Avalanche’s power play conversion rate of nearly 25%, the Coyotes will need to buckle down defensively if they want any shot at winning this game and sweeping the series. They then must travel to Minnesota to face the Wild and finally go to Anaheim to battle the Ducks. With the Coyotes sitting in the fifth spot in the West Division, every win matters even more, especially with the Avalanche and Wild close to them in the standings. Now, they’ll need to do it without their star goalie.