Plenty has been written about the resiliency the Arizona Coyotes have shown in fighting through injuries during their stunning ascent into what’s currently a spot in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That’s been the case at PHT, for sure, as Sean Leahy’s been able to go in-depth with both coach Rick Tocchet and GM John Chayka regarding those challenges. It’s understandable, as Tocchet described the Coyotes’ rash of injuries as something he’s never seen during his “30-something years” in the NHL.
But, to me, the true story of the Coyotes’ rise comes down to one goalie: Darcy Kuemper.
Kuemper clearly made some New Year’s resolutions
Since Feb. 19, the Coyotes’ 20 points leads all NHL teams, yet they’ve been outshot 401-357 during that same time. They’ve generally been a bottom-third team from a possession stats standpoint this season, and they actually slipped further during this 10-2-0 run.
While the Coyotes have done a better job of winning the high-danger scoring chance battle than they have the overall shot share struggle, Kuemper’s still far-and-away the difference.
During this run, Kuemper’s 10 wins tower over the pack, as the closest since Feb. 19 are a handful of goalies with seven victories. His .943 save percentage sparkles, too.