Bet Against the Arizona Coyotes … Every. Single. Game.

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 16, 2017 3:42 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 3:42 PM UTC

I try to be a glass half-full type of guy, but there’s simply nothing positive to say about the Arizona Coyotes. If you aren’t betting against them each game, then you are not paying attention.

It’s going to be a long sports year in the greater Phoenix area. Yes, the Diamondbacks made the MLB playoffs and beat the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild-Card game, but then the Snakes were easily swept out of the postseason by the Dodgers in the NLDS. Arizona also is going to lose slugger J.D. Martinez to the free-agent market.

In the NFL, the Cardinals had little shot of making the playoffs as it was but now none with the season-ending broken arm suffered by quarterback Carson Palmer. The NBA’s Suns are still in tank/rebuild mode and fired their head coach just three games into the new season.

Then there are the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, who could be the worst hockey team in years. The Yotes recently passed the 20-game mark on the season and became the first team in NHL history to go its first 20 games without a non-overtime or shootout victory. Arizona also was the first club since the 1943-44 New York Rangers to lose its first 11 games and first since the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres to not reach double-digit points in its first 20.

"Right now we have to worry about our consistency. I don't think we've quite figured out how to be consistent, and that's a mainstay if you want to play in this league, and that's how you stay in this league and that's how you win in this league,” Arizona defenseman Jason Demers said.

The NHL record for fewest points in a season is 21 and fewest wins 8, both set by the expansion 1974-75 Washington Capitals, who went 8-67-5 in an 80-game season. I highly doubt Arizona breaks those records, but there’s simply no reason not to bet against this team each night on the NHL odds.

The Coyotes as of this writing are last in the NHL in goals scored per game and goals allowed – hint: that’s a bad sign. They are bottom five in both power-player percentage and on the penalty kill. Arizona has just one player with more than seven goals or 15 points: rookie center Clayton Keller, the No. 7 overall pick in 2016. He’s an early Calder Trophy favorite. Keller starred at Boston University last season and was Team USA's leading scorer as it won gold at the 2017 World Junior Championship.

Really, that’s why this team is so bad: Because it’s so young. Plus, the Coyotes traded very solid No. 1 goaltender Mike Smith to Calgary this offseason. To replace him, Arizona acquired Antti Raanta and Derek Stepan from the New York Rangers.

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It’s the first time Raanta has been the No. 1 guy on a team, and he hasn’t handled it well yet. He was quite good as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup last season, going 16-8-2 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .922 save percentage and four shutouts. Some guys just aren’t meant to handle the pressure of starting. Plus, Raanta missed about three weeks due to injury, meaning Arizona had to trot out guys like Scott Wedgewood (acquired in late October from New Jersey), Adin Hill and Louis Domingue in net. Domingue has since been traded to Tampa Bay for forward Tye McGinn and goalie Michael Leighton.

In addition, top defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has been out since Halloween because of an upper-body injury. He was a big offseason trade acquisition from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Oh, and things aren’t getting any better for the franchise. It was recently reported that the Coyotes have been the subject of two investigations by the National Labor Relations Board in the past year. Among the claims are the team failed to properly pay its employees, spied on employees, threatened them when they tried to unionize, and retaliated against those who complained.  Two employees fired who raised concerned about pay reached settlements with the team. One of the cases is still being investigated by the NLRB.

Baseball season starts March 29!

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