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Coyotes GM Armstrong backs Tourigny amid nine-game skid

Andre Tourigny André Tourigny - Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes are mired in a nine-game winless skid, but it does not appear a coaching change is on the table as the team looks to change their luck.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong shut down any talks regarding head coach André Tourigny's job security on Sunday.

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

Armstrong's comments came before the Coyotes suffered their latest loss, falling 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night. 

The sudden downturn has derailed a promising season for the Coyotes, who were 23-19-3 before the skid started. Now sitting 10 points back of the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot at 23-27-4, Armstrong put the team's mixed results in perspective. 

“We’re still moving forward as an organization,” he said. “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.”

The Coyotes led 2-1 and 3-2 against the Avalanche Sunday, but were unable to close out the game for their first win since Jan. 22. 

"It's extremely frustrating because we want to win. We want to win. It's not a league of feel-good, it's not a league of excuses. We want to win for our fans,” Tourigny said after the loss. “I'm super proud of the way the guys worked. The guys, they battled. They took the lead and we came back. We played hard. ... We did a lot of good things and could not seal the deal.

“It's looks like we're in that kind of a slump right now where whatever we do, there's always a bad bounce or something, but [I'm] extremely proud of the effort of the boys.”

Tourigny, 49, is in his third season as head coach of the Coyotes, and remains on pace to better the team's 2022-23 record of 28-40-14. He has a career record of 76-117-25 with the Coyotes in his first stint as an NHL head coach.