That is, they were consistently lackluster, they were poised to give up the puck, and they appeared determined to lose the game. There was no sugar coating it.
Yotes fans were treated to a flat performance that saw very little to get excited about, and plenty of reasons to be concerned. The team now heads to Montreal trying to forget about their bad performance.
No matter how you looked at it, there was no putting a good face on it, or pointing to the highlights to show growth or progress.
This contest had all of the disorganization of a roller-hockey game.
Fans watching the team play after the big opening night win against the Philadelphia Flyers witnessed two different squads.
The opening night roster managed crisp passes, hit hard, communicated well, and took advantage of opportunities. They weren’t perfect by any stretch, but they played hard and didn’t make too many big mistakes.
Contrast that with Tuesday night’s performance.
They couldn’t defend, constantly gave up possession in their own zone, and showed an inability to move the puck up ice.
In fact, maintaining possession as they moved toward the offensive zone became an exercise in futility. In many instances it seemed like Ottawa was using six or seven players. Ottawa continually forced the Coyotes to kick the puck blindly up ice to a Senators defender.
This has been an area marked for improvement for this team for several years. Free agent blue-liner Alex Goligoski and other additions were supposed to dramatically fix this.
Last night showed no movement of the needle.
All Arizona Coyotes players were to blame, save Jordan Martinook who tallied two goals, and Max Domi, who at least showed spirit and enthusiasm.
Forward Dylan Strome also gets a pass. He made his NHL debut and for all of the hype, was lost in the circus that became a 7-4 crushing defeat. Strome did record his first point with an assist that would prove to be his lone highlight.
Compounding the bad night was an injury to goaltender Mike Smith, giving way to Louis Domingue. With Smith out, Domingue will be minding the net in Montreal and possibly for the remaining road trip.
I’m going to chalk up last night’s Arizona Coyotes performance as a bad first road game.