It’s been a while since the Coyotes were competitive in the West. Moreover, the departure of former starting goalie Mike Smith put the Yotes in even more of a rut. One sign of hope is former Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta coming up huge in the mid-season stretch.
There was a good portion of time where Arizona (formerly Phoenix) was a consistent contender in the West. Their old offensive core, with players like Shane Doan and Daniel Briere, put them in playoff position for nearly a decade.
The aging of Doan and the rebuild that’s lasted throughout most of the 2010’s dwindled the fan base’s hope in any positive results in the near future. It does not look like the Yotes are going to compete in the West anytime soon, with Raanta and forward Clayton Keller serving as the main sources of optimism.
A team does not always have to get close to the Stanley Cup Finals, and lose, to stress out their fans. When you’re in a city that’s not accustomed to hockey, like anyhwere in Arizona, it’s a fight to keep fans engaged. This is not a good period of time for the Yotes.