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(USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

Arizona Coyotes Find Their Stride With Connor Ingram in Net

The Arizona Coyotes are off to a 13-9-2 start in the early part of December of the NHL regular season. Arizona recently defeated the past five Stanley Cup Champions consequently in their past five games; all with goalie Connor Ingram in net. The ‘Yotes took down the Vegas Golden Knights (2023 champs), Tampa Bay Lightning (2021-22 champs), St. Louis Blues (2019 champs), and the Washington Capitals (2018 champs). Despite winning all these games without centers Barret Hayton and Jack McBain due to injury, Ingram has earned the starting role in between the pipes for head coach Andrei Tourney’s squad. 

Arizona claimed Ingram off of Waivers in October of last season from the Nashville Predators. After a solid season from goalie Karel Vejmelka last year, Ingram was brought back to backup Vejmelka. But struggling to start the season in goal with a record of 2-6-2 and a 3.45 GAA, change was needed to be made. Tourney originally was rotating Vejmelka and Ingram each game to start the season but now it looks that Ingram has taken the reins in net. The 26-year-old is 11-3 on the season with two shutouts. Also, he currently holds a 2.23 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Ingram was recently named the NHL’s first star of the week for the week of November 27th through December 3rd. The last Coyotes goalie to be named first star of the week was Mike Smith back in 2012. Have the ‘Yotes finally found his long term replacement?

This past offseason general manager Bill Armstrong inked Ingram to a three deal worth $1,950,000 yearly AAV. If the Saskatoon native can continue his success in between the pipes for Arizona, it would be a great deal for the team. 

Currently, Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in points with 24 in 24 games. Nick Schmaltz is second in scoring with 20 points. Michael Carcone leads the ‘Yotes in goals with 12. Carcone led all AHL skaters last season in points with 85. He represented the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL All Star game as well. The Ontario native’s success has provided depth scoring to the Coyotes lineup. Right behind him is Lawson Crouse with 10 goals on the season. Defensemen J.J. Moser and Sean Durzi hold the two best plus minus ratings on the team. Moser has a +11 rating and Durzi has a +10 rating. Durzi leads all Arizona defensemen in points with 13 and Moser is right behind with 12 points. 

As of December 5th, the Coyotes are in fourth place in the Central Division of the Western Conference. With that being said, they hold the first wildcard spot as of now. The last time the Desert Dogs made it to the playoffs was in 2019-20 where they fell to the Colorado Avalanche in five games after winning the play-in series against the Nashville Predators. The last time before that was in the 2011-12 season where they lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. The Coyotes will look to end their three year dry spell of missing out on the NHL playoffs this season.

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