Apr 8, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
The tough times continue for Mike Ribeiro in Phoenix.
The Coyotes’ big offseason acquisition — signed in free agency for $22 million over four years — has been a dud as of late, going goalless in 10 straight and sitting as a healthy scratch while Phoenix keeps fighting for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
“Obviously, I’m not helping much,” Ribeiro said, per the Arizona Republic. “It’s up to me to play better and step up my game.”
The slide comes just months after Ribeiro had a November to remember, scoring 11 points in 13 games while temporarily emerging as the club’s best center and playmaker. Since then, though, things have gone steadily downhill to the point where, in March, Ribeiro had nearly as many healthy scratches (two) as he did points (four).
Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett was blunt in his assessment of what’s wrong, deflecting claims that Ribeiro’s carousel of wingers has played a significant role in his decreased output.
“Really, ‘Ribs’ has to put the work in. That’s the bottom line,” Tippett said. “Everybody likes to rely on other players around them, but you gotta put the work in yourself first before you start looking at wingers.”
Tonight’s game versus Columbus is a huge one for the Coyotes. They head into Tuesday’s action sitting one point back of Dallas for the final wild card spot, and the Stars are hosting Nashville at American Airlines.
If the two teams keep winning, it’ll set up a final day, winner-takes-all matchup for the last playoff spot, as the Stars will take on the ‘Yotes this Sunday in Phoenix.
- One more time, with feeling: Flames stage yet another comeback, eliminate Vancouver 15
- Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators 45
- Red Wings smother Lightning, take 3-2 series lead 20
- Going the distance: Isles edge Caps to force Game 7 33
- WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action 6
- Lucic issues statement on father’s passing 10
- Hall caught off guard by Oilers’ front office shuffle 19
- Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink 34
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 5
- Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’ 58
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (108)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)
- Preds, Forsberg finally solve Darling, push series to Game 6 (76)