The Arizona Coyotes are having a miserable, terrible, hard-to-watch season, but if there’s anything that makes the Coyotes worth tuning in to, it’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Sunday night, Ekman-Larsson gave provided yet another example why. Late in the first period, with the Coyotes down 1-0, Ekman-Larsson gathered the puck behind the Arizona net. He then waited for Canucks winger Derek Dorsett to give chase, dodged his check, swiftly skated into the neutral zone, walked around Brandon McMillan and then let a shot fly from the blueline towards Jacob Markstrom.
After putting the shot on goal, Ekman-Larsson split the Canucks defense, made two attempts on his own rebound, banging the second home for the game-tying tally:
The goal gave Ekman-Larsson 20 on the season and 36 points. He now sits one marker ahead of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, a fellow Swede, for goals by defensemen. His 20 goals this year smash his previous career high of 15, set last season when he registered a career best 44 points in 80 games.
This has been an outstanding year for Ekman-Larsson on a bottom-feeding Arizona team, and there’s little wonder as to why the Coyotes consider him one of the most untouchable players on the roster.