The Arizona Coyotes are proving to be the surprise of the NHL season, as they extended their winning streak to a jaw-dropping seven games with a decisive 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. The win, fueled by dominant performances from Clayton Keller and Alex Kerfoot, further cements the Coyotes’ place as the hottest team in the league.
From the opening face-off, the Coyotes dictated the tempo, swarming the Sharks net with relentless offensive pressure. Their relentless attack paid off early, as Keller found the back of the net just 2:42 into the first period. Kerfoot followed suit minutes later, tipping in a shot from Jakob Chychrun to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Sharks, desperate to snap the Coyotes’ momentum, responded with a late first-period goal from Kevin Labanc. However, the Coyotes refused to relinquish their grip on the game. In the second period, Phil Kessel and Nick Schmaltz added two more goals for the Desert Dogs, putting the game firmly out of reach.
“We’re just playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said Keller, who finished the night with a goal and two assists. “We’re working hard for each other, and we’re not giving up on any plays.”
The Coyotes’ recent surge has been fueled by the breakout performances of their young players. Keller, 24, has emerged as a bona fide offensive threat, leading the team in scoring with 35 points in 37 games. Kerfoot, 28, has also been a revelation, providing a much-needed scoring punch alongside Keller.
“These young guys are playing with no fear,” said head coach André Tourigny. “They’re coming out every night and proving that they belong in this league. It’s been incredibly fun to watch.”
The Coyotes’ seven-game winning streak is their longest since 2012, and they now sit just five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. With a young core brimming with confidence and a veteran coach guiding the way, the Coyotes are no longer just a scrappy underdog – they are a legitimate threat to contend for a Stanley Cup.
The team’s next challenge comes against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. With their newfound swagger and belief, the Coyotes look poised to extend their winning streak and continue their improbable journey towards the playoffs.
The Coyotes’ penalty kill was perfect on the night, shutting down all three of the Sharks’ power-play opportunities. Adin Hill was solid in net for the Coyotes, stopping 28 of 30 shots. The win extends the Coyotes’ home winning streak to eight games, their longest since 2016.
The remarkable turnaround that the Coyotes have seen is a credit to the hard work and effort that their players and coaching staff have put in. There is reason to be optimistic about the future of the Arizona Coyotes, as they have a young core that is eager to achieve success and a fan base that is humming with excitement. A loud howl is coming from the desert dogs, and the rest of the National Hockey League is beginning to take note.