The Arizona Coyotes playoff training camp is here and it will run for two weeks with the team leaving for Edmonton on July 26th and their first game against the Predators being August 2nd. What are some of the camp storylines? Here are three that Coyotes fans should be paying attention to
What to do with that back to back in games two and three?
The Coyotes and Predators series is a best of five with the possibility of playing five games in the span of eight days and with that will come a strain on the Coyotes goaltending duo of Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta. As Craig Morgan pointed out in his recent newsletter it’s highly likely that Coach Tocchet will have to call on both of his guys to win their first playoff series since 2012.
The health of Phil Kessel and Oliver Ekman Larsson
Phil Kessel was the biggest trade in Coyotes history last July and with expectations that were set almost too high for him for a player who is 32 years old Kessel underperformed. The 38 points in 70 games was his lowest total since Kessel was 20 years old in his second season. On a recent Zoom call Kessel admitted he endured more injuries this season than any other in his career. Just watching him play this season you could tell something was off so hopefully an entire offseason of time to recover did him well.
Oliver Ekman Larsson also said recently that he was feeling 100 percent after offseason knee surgery in 2019. Oliver’s production also underwhelmed this season with 30 points in 66 games. A healthy Captain would be a much needed boost for a Coyotes team who needs more scoring which has always been Oliver’s best attribute.
If Phil Kessel and Oliver Ekman Larsson are really 100 percent for the first time all season now would be the perfect time to unleash both of them on Nashville
In just the last 48 hours multiple teams have reported positive tests or missing players for precautionary reasons.
The Coyotes have yet to report any positive cases and John Chayka told Fox Sports 910 on Monday that the team had a 100 percent report rate for their players during phase two. Players have the option to not play during the playoffs but the deadline is Monday and there is no word on any Coyotes deciding to opt out. However according to Craig Morgan forward Michael Grabner was close to doing so
COVID is the cloud hanging over the head of every sport right now so it’s really the deciding factor in everything right now including Coyotes training camp.