The Arizona Coyotes 2021-22 preseason has been a bit of a surprise. After a huge roster makeover, the team has won all three preseason tilts. They have been led by three players who are playing excellent hockey.
Three Players Stand Out in Arizona Coyotes 2021-22 Preseason
So far newly acquired forward Loui Eriksson leads the team with two goals and one assist in two games. Eriksson didn’t get much playing time at all last season. He only appeared in seven games last season with the Vancouver Canucks with one assist. Most of the time he watched the games from the press box area. He is taking advantage of playing time and the results seem rewarding.
New head coach Andre Tourigny has made it known that the slate has been wiped clean for all players. Eriksson still thinks he can contribute even at the age of 36. If he can continue with the level of play he has displayed in the preseason, then the Coyotes will receive the rewards.
Lawson Crouse Looking to Improve
Crouse had a really tough season last year. He only managed four goals and nine assists in 51 games. What was worse was his possession stats also took a dive. His Corsi For was only 39.1 percent while his Relative Corsi was -12.2 percent. He too hopes to reset the board and improve on those disappointing numbers. He also had some tough luck hitting the post more times than he wishes to remember.
Jakob Chychrun Continues to Impress
Chychrun, who had a terrific 2020-21 season, is at it again. He tallied two goals in the last preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks. He’s made it look easy and has a new blueline linemate this time around. While he prospered under the guided tutelage of Alex Goligoski last season, he now has Anton Stralman back there helping him.
Chychrun tallied two goals against the Anaheim Ducks and seems to be right on target to continue his scoring touch. He potted 18 goals and 23 assists in 56 games last season. His continued stellar play may have him in discussion for the Norris Trophy consideration. With Stralman covering for him on the blue line, Chychrun may be the star of the Coyotes and the future captain.
Sure It’s Just Preseason
While some Coyotes fans are getting carried away with the preseason success, these games mean nothing. If the Yotes can get it together and play as well in the regular season, then the celebration may be in order. With all the excessive changes to the Arizona roster, not much is expected for the 2021-22 season. Rebuilds/tankings are like that.
It’s going to be a long, tough season for the Arizona Coyotes. There’s no other way to describe it. Losing players like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta, Adin Hill, and Michael Bunting is not easy to swallow. Players like that just don’t grow on cacti. It is very doubtful Andrew Ladd, Antoine Roussel, Carter Hutton, or even Conor Timmins are going to be able to change that fate.
If Eriksson, Crouse, and Chychrun Excel, Then Who Knows
These are proud players who are attempting to do well and get the team past all the ‘tanking’ talk. New head coach Tourigny won’t have it any other way. Players need to perform and the team must survive as formed. The future of this franchise lies with its young players and future draft picks. They will always need veterans to guide them and show them the way.
What would be ideal is for players like Eriksson to come back and play well, or better yet get the chance to even play period. Loui seems to have found his touch again and if another veteran like Ladd can catch fire, then things won’t be so gloomy in the desert.
Tanking? What’s that all about?