The words "special teams" evoke much wailing and gnashing of teeth among Coyotes fans, and for good reason. The Coyotes have been agonizingly bad on the power play and tantalizingly good on the penalty kill. So what will the Desert Dogs need to do to generate some more consistency?
The Coyotes needed a major rebound on their penalty kill after the 2010-11 season, in which they finished 26th in the NHL (78.4% on PK). The Coyotes were shorthanded 296 times that year, meaning they surrendered a power play goal at a rate of about 1 per 80 minutes of play. That had to change.
Thankfully for the Coyotes, it did. Last season the Coyotes killed off 85.5% of their penalties, good enough for 8th best in the NHL. Equally as important, they took 47 fewer penalties last year, which meant they weren't putting themselves at a disadvantage as often. In total, the Coyotes gave up 36 power play goals, which helped them stay in a lot of close games.