The Arizona Coyotes are off to a miserable start. At 0-8-1, the Yotes are one of two teams without a win so far in the 2021-22 season (the other being the Colorado Avalanche at 0-7-2). The league record for the longest losing streak to begin a season belongs to the New York Rangers, who lost 11 in a row during the 1943-44 season, en route to a 6-39-5 record and an all-time low of 17 points for the season.
While Arizona should be able to outdo 17 points in the standings this season, things still look rather bleak, but the Flyers’ goaltending tandem could provide a golden opportunity to put a tally in the win column.
Tuesday’s game is at 7:00 PM Eastern on ESPN+ and locally on Bally Sports Arizona.
Arizona Coyotes Preview
The Coyotes have a ton of factors working against them. Arizona has the league’s lowest goal total (13), worst goal differential (-26), worst penalty kill (58.6%), and second-worst power play (8.0%). At 24.9 shots per game, the Coyotes average two shots per game fewer than any other team while giving up 31.9 shots per game (13th-most).
While Arizona must improve on those totals, they could pull momentum from Karel Vejmelka’s strong showing against the first-place Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. Vejmelka stopped 37 of 39 shots against the Canes, giving up the go-ahead goal with under three minutes remaining while Arizona was shorthanded.
Vejmelka projects as the starter again on Tuesday while Carter Hutton is still on injured reserve. This season, Vejmelka has an 0-5-1 record, a .920 save percentage and a 2.63 GAA in seven games (five starts).
Arizona will also likely be without Alex Galchenuk (upper body), Kyle Capobianco (lower body), Conor Timmins (lower body), Ryan Dzingel (upper body), and Nick Schmaltz (upper body).
Philadelphia Flyers Preview
The Flyers have been a difficult team to predict this season. Some nights, they’ve looked like world-beaters, rolling to commanding wins like their 6-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken or a 6-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. However, Philadelphia has also found some troubling losses, including their most recent defeat, a 4-0 shutout loss against the Calgary Flames. In that loss, Calgary nearly doubled Philadelphia’s shot total (36-20).
Philadelphia’s power play ranks 12th in the league at 23.8%, but the penalty kill sags behind at 80.0% (20th). Sean Couturier leads the team with nine points (three goals, six assists), four of which are on the power play.
Cam Atkinson, acquired this offseason in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, leads the team with six goals, particularly impressive when none of them have come with the man advantage.
Carter Hart and Martin Jones have been operating at roughly a 2:1 workload split, meaning bettors can expect Hart to get the start in net on Tuesday. Hart has a 2-2-1 record this season, along with a 2.79 GAA and a .915 save percentage.
Ryan Ellis (lower body) has already been ruled out for Thursday’s game, as have Kevin Hayes (abdomen) and Wade Allison (ankle). Samuel Morin is nearing a return from a knee injury but may not be ready to go.
Odds and Pick
Moneyline: Arizona Coyotes (+180) at Philadelphia Flyers (-225)
Puck Line: Arizona Coyotes +1.5 goals (-130) at Philadelphia Flyers -1.5 goals (+110)
Total: OVER 5.5 goals (-115), UNDER 5.5 goals (-105)
Last season, Carter Hart had an abysmal -22.64 goals saved above average (GSAA). While he has improved this season, the range for GSAA tends to expand as the season progresses. This season, Hart is at a 0.18 GSAA, but that’s still much lower than a goaltender of his caliber is capable of posting.
The Flyers’ inconsistencies are a concern, but Arizona is still behind the 8-ball here. Roll with Philadelphia to win the game, but don’t be surprised if the Coyotes can cover on the puck line.
Betting Pick: Arizona Coyotes +1.5 puck line (-130)
Make sure to stay tuned for more betting picks and previews!