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The Coyotes Keith Yandle is one of the better skaters on the team, but many of his teammates struggle keeping up with a faster pace of play
One thing the Coyotes are lacking is overall team speed. They have some fast and skilled players, but to play at such a high speed while retaining skill is very difficult to do. When the games get high-tempo, the 'Yotes begin to make mistakes and have a difficult time regaining control of the puck.
Two games have shown this weakness so far this season as the Coyotes lost to San Jose and Edmonton.
Some might argue that these were among the best games the Coyotes played this season. I agree for the most part. Their tenacity and gutty play kept them in the games and even allowed them to have a chance to win both games.
In fact, they outplayed both of those teams for long periods of time during those games, but could not seem to come away with victories.
Others might argue that they had key players hurt and that they were not at full strength. This is also true, as Martin Hanzal, Matthew Lombardi, Rusty Klesla, Steve Sullivan and Mike Smith have missed multiple games this season.
But, it's what happened when the game turned into a horse race that has fans concerned.
San Jose scored a third-period goal on backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera and they began to turn the screw on the Coyotes. Their top two lines can really skate and maintain puck control, and it seemed that the Coyotes could not seem to get it back when they truly needed to.
Edmonton's top two lines were flying around the ice last night, and it seemed at times that the Coyotes were standing still. The young talent on display for the Oilers was mind-boggling. They controlled the puck for what seemed like endless periods of time in the Coyotes zone, although they could not seem to capitalize.
Although, the Coyotes have guys like Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson who can skate on 'D', others like Michael Stone, David Schlemko and Zybnek Michalek had trouble keeping up with the pace of play. They played really hard and gave it their all, but it still wasn't enough as Edmonton won in overtime.
The Coyotes forwards are not the fleetest of foot either, and this poses problems when you talk of back-checking against teams that can really skate. While Mikkel Boedker and Lauri Korpikoski can skate really well, David Moss, Kyle Chipchura and Shane Doan struggle at times to get back on defense which can lead to odd man rushes that the Coyotes cannot afford to give up.