The Phoenix Coyotes surged up the standings with an outstanding stretch of play from late October to mid-November. They’ve ran into some trouble lately though, and have only won once in their last five contests. Head coach Dave Tippett knows that there are several things that the team needs to work on, but chief among them seems to be getting a better start in the first period.
Tippett spoke to Sarah McLellan of AZCentral.com about what his team needed to do better in the first 20 minutes of play:
Don’t give up goals-against would be a good start. To do that, you have to compete hard and be ready to start the game and that’s what we have to continue to pound away at.
Forward Radim Vrbata added:
When you have a lead, you can be patient. You can wait for a chance. But when you’re behind, you have to create your chances. So you maybe have to risk a little more, and that’s where it’s dangerous because the other team can take advantage of it and that’s the chance they’re waiting for here and there. They score another one and it’s over.
Scoring first seems to be particularly important for Phoenix. The desert dogs are 11-1-1 when the put up the first tally and have yet to lose a contest when leading after the first period. Tippett and his team seems to know that getting a good start is important, and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond with their next four contests coming on the road.