The Runner Sports

Arizona Coyotes Goaltending Analysis

How did the Coyotes’ goalies do?

Giving up 3.15 goals a game wasn’t a statistic which allowed the Arizona Coyotes, or any team, into the playoffs. The only team to get anywhere near that was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who gave up 2.85 goals a game, but still managed to qualify for the post-season.

Mike Smith‘s statistics are really not that bad. He finished with a 19-26-9 record. He accumulated a .914 save percentage and a 2.92 goals against average. He added three shutouts to take over that category for the team. When it comes to Louis Domingue, he had an off year compiling an 11-15-1 record. His .908 save percentage and 3.08 goals against average showed he had a sophomore slump year just like Anthony Duclair.

Will the Coyotes protect Smith or Domingue in expansion draft?

This is an issue which holds some conversation among Coyotes fans. Smith has a huge contract of $5.667 million a year, with two years remaining. Domingue signed a two-year deal worth just over $1 million a season. Would the expansion Vegas Golden Knights want to take over Smith’s hefty contract? Or would they prefer an up and coming young goalie like Domingue? In either case, the Coyotes will find themselves short-handed in between the pipes. Of course, the Vegas team may not select either Smith or Domingue, but it is a possibility.

What about Adin Hill?

Adin Hill has played fairly well with the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners so far this season. He has a 15-14-6 record with a 3.16 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. If Smith or Domingue are lost in the expansion draft, it appears that Hill may get a shot at the backup goalie spot. He’s built much like Smith at 6′ 4″, 198 pounds. Unless the Coyotes think that Marek Langenhamer can perform better than Hill (doubtful), it will be Hill’s job to lose.

Who else is available?

Ben Bishop, who signed with the Los Angeles Kings will be a free agent, but carried a $5.95 million cap hit on his previous contract. He carries impressive statistics over his 11-year NHL career. Try a 148-80-25 record, with a .919 save percentage, and a stellar 2.32 goals against average.

Another much more reasonable option might be Scott Darling. His most recent cap hit set at $587,500, and he’s a pretty darn good goalie for that price. His record with the Chicago Blackhawks was 18-5-5. He also had a .924 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against average.

Either of these choices is a food for thought in case the Coyotes were to go after another net-minder.

There are other areas which the Arizona Coyotes need to improve upon to get better. Mike Smith made it known that not going to the playoffs five years straight is not what they lace up their skates for game in, game out. He told Coyotes’ writer Dave Vest: “It’s the NHL,” Smith said. “You play to play in the playoffs. When you’re out of the playoffs for five years in a row, I think it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You want to be playing this time of year. That’s why you play 82 games is to compete for the Stanley Cup. (We) fell quite short again this year. Personally, I don’t think it’s acceptable.”

There’s one thing for certain… the Arizona Coyotes NEED to make the playoffs next season.