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Coyotes hope for home spark against Blues | Field level


The Arizona Coyotes are hoping a little home cooking will solve their early season woes.

After starting with an embarrassing 8-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and showing improvement in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabers on Saturday, the Coyotes are looking to take another step forward in the game. Monday’s home opener against the St. Louis Blues in Glendale, Arizona.

“We were a lot better,” coach André Tourigny said of Buffalo’s loss. “Outside of the rush we were a lot better, apart from our front failure in the neutral zone we were a lot better. We were better on our breakouts. So there are a lot of positives, a few things to sort out in our coverage. zone (defensive). A couple of situations where when we’re tired we’ve been exposed, so we’re going to fix it, but I think that’s positive. “

Speaking of positives, Arizona forward Andrew Ladd’s goal against Buffalo was his first NHL goal since March 10, 2020.

Ladd, a six-time 20-goal scorer with 250 goals in 952 games, has spent most of the last two seasons either injured, healthy or relegated to minors while with the New York Islanders.

Even though the Coyotes are a rebuilding team, they rely on Ladd to be a leader – he’s an assistant captain – and to help develop their young talents.

“It’s been a long road for me two years,” said Ladd, two-time Stanley Cup champion and former captain of the Winnipeg Jets. “Mentally, over the last couple of years, I think I’ve just been trying to stay positive and have a goal in my mind to come back to play hockey in the NHL.

“To be able to come back to that point and feel like it was a proud moment again for me. Not even just for me, I think my wife, kids and family have been through a lot, and when things don’t go right. not well on the hockey front, they often feel it at home, and it’s definitely for them.

The Blues opened the season with a 5-3 road win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, but were not thrilled with their performance. St. Louis led 4-1 midway through the third period, but needed an empty net goal at the last minute to secure the win.

“We had a very good first half. We came out, we were on our toes and took the lead, ”said coach Craig Berube. “We just lost our energy a bit in the second half and we fed their transition game, we got on our heels a bit. The third period was mixed for me.

Ladd wasn’t the only veteran to score his team’s play. Blues forward David Perron was a decision to be made during the game after missing practice before Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, but he scored twice to lead the attack.

“I have never had so much warmth (from my teammates) for taking the time I needed to play today,” said Perron. “I had to score one at least.

“It will probably take a little while to get back to where I want him to be, but it was nice to have been able to go out and contribute a bit.”