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Coyotes on verge on winless February ahead of matchup with Maple Leafs

Arizona Coyotes Andre Tourigny - The Canadian Press

At 0-11-2 in their past 13 games, the Arizona Coyotes are one loss away from the second-longest winless skid in the cap era.

The Coyotes, who defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Jan. 22 for their most recent, will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday with one last chance to avoid going winless in the month February. 

The 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets went 30 games without a win for the overall NHL record, while the 2020-21 Buffalo Sabres own the record for the longest winless skid in the cap era, having gone 18 games between victories.

Three teams are tied for second on the unenviable list with 14 games without a win - the 2009-10 Carolina Hurricanes, the 2010-11 New York Islanders and the 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres

This year marks the third straight season where a team has gone 13 games winless, after the Philadelphia Flyers did so in 2021-22 and the Anaheim Ducks ended last season on a 13-game skid. 

Longest winless skids since 2005

Team Year Games Record
1. Buffalo Sabres 2020-21 18 0-15-3
T2. Carolina Hurricanes  2009-10 14 0-10-4
T2. New York Islanders 2010-11 14 0-11-3
T2. Buffalo Sabres 2014-15 14 0-14-0
T3. Philadelphia Flyers 2021-22 13 0-10-3
T3. Anaheim Ducks 2022-23 13 0-11-2
T3. Arizona Coyotes* 2023-24 13 0-11-2


Arizona's downturn has put a sudden end to the team's playoff hopes this season.

The Coyotes had a 23-19-3 record after defeating Pittsburgh on Jan. 22 to sit just two points back of the Nashville Predators for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with two games in hand.  Entering play Thursday, the Coyotes are 17 points back of the Predators with four teams between them in the standings. 

The Coyotes’ latest loss came Tuesday with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, despite outshooting their opponents 38-21. 

“We’re in that kind of stretch,” head coach Andre Tourigny said postgame. “You watched the game. We had 77 per cent of the scoring chances tonight. We had a lot of possession in their zone, quality shots. Their goalie stood tall. There’s always nitpicking, we always can find a few things. We could have a little bit more traffic in front of him. We did not reload properly on two of their goals.

“There’s never a perfect game, but if you look all in all, I don’t want to find excuses or I don’t want to blame the players for an effort like tonight, that’s for sure.”

Coyotes' Sudden Fall

  Record Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Home Road
First 45 games 23-19-3 137 132 5 15-9-0 8-10-3
Last 13 0-11-2 31 60 -29 0-5-0 0-6-2

Earlier this month after the skid hit nine games, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong dismissed any idea of Tourigny being on the hot seat. 

“Of course he is,” Armstrong told PHNX Sports when asked if Tourigny's job was safe. “That’s a silly question. I’m not even gonna answer that anymore.”

“We’re still moving forward as an organization,” he added. “This is just something that you go through when you’re at these points in a rebuild. 

“People forget that you’re still in the process because of our success early on, but let’s go over the teams that we’ve had losses against. We’re not talking about s----y teams here. We’re talking about top teams. Those have been disappointing losses, but those were also learning losses for us when we’re at this stage in the process.”


Another shot at Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs accounted for loss No. 11 of the Coyotes skid with a 6-3 win in Arizona last week. 

Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz. accounted for two goals - including his 50th of the season - in the win as he continues to chase the 70-goal mark.

“Obviously a special player, and we're lucky to have him. He's in his hometown. A lot of people here, a lot of family, a lot of loved ones. So to get it [his 50th] here, it's pretty special,” teammate Mitchell Marner said of the accomplishment. 

Matthews, who has seven goals and an assist in 13 career games against the Coyotes, enters Thursday's game on a two-game goal drought.

The Coyotes earned victories in their each of their past two trips to Toronto and are 4-1 in their past five against the Maple Leafs since 2021.