The Coyotes appear to have the Leafs' number; Here's how bad the matchup has been for the Buds in recent years

Published December 30, 2022 at 9:39
BY EVAN DOERFLER
In what always seems like an easily achievable win, the Leafs dropped yet another game to the Coyotes in their first appearance in Mullett Arena on Thursday night by a score of 6-3. The loss tonight comes as just the eighth regulation loss on the season for the Leafs and the second by a spread of three goals. The Coyotes currently sit as one of the bottom feeders in the NHL with a record of 13-16-5, registering themselves as an easier win on most nights. But the Leafs, who tend to play down to the level of poorer opponents, know this one slipped away from them.


In tonight's game, the Leafs led the Coyotes at the first and second intermissions. When up 2-1 and 3-2, the Buds struggled to stop the Coyotes' power play, with both the tying goals coming from the man advantage. Adding to their difficulties, the Leafs had yet to lose a game in regulation this season when leading after two periods. This, of course, was the first, as the Coyotes scored four third-period goals and took advantage of the shaky Matt Murray, who allowed four goals on 21 shots before the Yotes fired two into the empty net.




The Coyotes have been on a four-year skid of losing seasons, where they struggled to win 30 games. Their last season above .500% came in the 2018-19 season. Despite their struggles, they have consistently come to play against the Leafs. In the last five seasons, the Coyotes have beaten the Leafs in six of their past eight games and have won all four matches in the 2022 calendar year.



In spite of the Leafs success, the Coyotes always seem to be their kryptonite when they faceoff against one another. Nonetheless, the Leafs let one slip away Thursday night, but they will look to bounce back against the defending Stanley Cup Champions on a New Year's Eve clash before they head back to Toronto for a three-game homestand.

The Coyotes are the only team in the NHL to have beaten all four of the Avalanche, Bruins, Hurricanes and Leafs so far this season.
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