Year of Coyote

Archived from 1998-99 season.

NHL teams

Phoenix Coyotes

Coyotes schedule

Coyotes transactions

Coyotes roster

One third of the season has been played and the Phoenix Coyotes are the best team in the NHL with a 17-3-4 record. Who would have guessed?

Many things have gone right for the Coyotes this season. They survived the potentially disruptive contract dispute with the captain of the team Keith Tkachuk. He missed most of the training camp but fortunately signed a new contract before the season started.

Tkachuk has responded with 15 goals and 28 points and he has shown discipline and leadership well worthy of a captain.

"I'm doing my best to try and stay out of the box," said Tkachuk. "But sometimes during the year, when guys are taking extra liberties, you have to show people around the league that you're not going to always take it, that you're going to do something about it."

Two seasons ago Tkachuk became the first player in NHL history to lead the league in goals scored (52) and collect more than 200 penalty minutes (228)

Other reasons for the Coyotes' success are their top-notch defense lead by Teppo Numminen, Oleg Tverdovsky and Jyrki Lumme and stellar goaltending. Both goalies, Nikolai Khabibulin and Jimmy Waite, have played suberbly. Phoenix has let in the fewest goals in the league and both goalies rank near the top in goaltending statistics.

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