Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/25/13 at 09:21 AM ET
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Even when the Coyotes were in the midst of a recent 8-1-1 stretch, concerns festered under the surface.
And now that the Coyotes are winless in their past two games, those trouble spots have taken center stage.
“They were covered up maybe on the outside, but inside we’ve been pounding away at it,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We know that our defending and our penalty kill are areas that have to improve. We’ll continue to find ways to do that.”
After giving up a pair of power-play goals in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks — the Coyotes’ first regulation defeat on home ice this season — the penalty-kill unit has allowed a goal in nine of the past 11 games. In those nine games, the Coyotes have given up 13 power-play goals.
Overall, the unit ranks 28th in the league at 76.1 percent.
“Anytime you’re a man short, there’s going to be breakdowns,” defenseman Michael Stone said. “It’s just what’s going to happen. We need to limit that and get pucks out and battle harder around our net. Don’t give up the easy passes that teams have been getting on us.”
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