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Struggling Coyotes visit struggling Leafs

Dec 19, 2013, 12:01 PM EDT

Brendan Gallagher Mike Smith AP

There’s struggling, and then there’s struggling.

In the case of tonight’s game between Phoenix and Toronto, the italics version applies to the Maple Leafs, who’ve managed just three regulation wins in their last 21 games.

However, with a 4-6-2 record in their last 12 games and two straight regulation losses, the non-italics version certainly applies to the Coyotes, whose struggles have taken them out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

“We made mistakes, took some bad penalties,” Mike Ribeiro said after the Coyotes dropped a 3-1 decision Tuesday in Montreal.

Phoenix has also had trouble converting on its once-potent power play, going just 2-for-19 in its last six games.

“Special units are part of the game, and if you can’t get them to click, oftentimes you’ll lose the game,” said Ribeiro.

The Coyotes do have a good opportunity to regain some momentum prior to the holiday break. Though all three of their games are on the road, their opponents — Toronto, Ottawa, and Buffalo — are hardly the cream of the NHL’s crop.

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  1. thailer35 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Coyotes recalled Klesla too. Not sure what that means or if he’ll play tonight, but we need a spark in the worst way.

  2. comeonnowguys - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    They’re falling apart.

    http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/1971261/mike-smith-embellish_large.gif

    Or just falling.

    • thailer35 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      So sick of Smith. Hopefully Visentin is his back-up next year and starts challenging for the starting job. I fear Smith’s contract is unfortuantely going to come back to bite Maloney.

      • comeonnowguys - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        To be fair, I really don’t think they’re falling apart. I just needed a setup.

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