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Why Coyotes D Sean Durzi’s absence is a huge momentum blow

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With constant roster turnover, offensive issues and mistakes made on both sides of the ice, the Arizona Coyotes are going through a rough patch in which they have lost their past-four games.

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Playing three times, in three different cities in four nights is a difficult task in any sport, let alone hockey, with fatigue being a major outcome because of it.

Additionally, Arizona still have multiple injuries impacting the depth of the team which saw their recent success eclipse just two weeks ago.

The Coyotes were on a five-game winning streak from Nov. 25 through Dec. 4.

Even though players like C Jack McBain (lower body), C Barrett Hayton (upper body), C Travis Boyd (upper body) and D Vladislav Kolyachonok have missed multiple contests, D Juuso Välimäki returned just in time for the Coyotes go on a run.

Since then, what has hurt Arizona the most as of recently is the loss of defenseman Sean Durzi.

Durzi’s Injury Impact

Known as the “power play quarterback,” Durzi’s elite puck-moving and playmaking skills makes him a dangerous threat from the backend going forward.

Not to mention, Durzi eats up an average ice-time of 22:24 per-game even though there have been instances where he has reached the 26+ minute mark.

However, the first year ‘Yote has been in and out of the lineup recently with a lower body injury he suffered on Dec. 4 vs. the Washington Capitals.

It may be a coincidence but since that game, Arizona have lost ever since.

Durzi missed one contest before featuring in a smaller role against the Boston Bruins with 15:26 TOI.

Being the most offensive-minded defenseman on the team, his urgency and assertiveness to get the puck and create something out of nothing has been sorely missed.

After being traded to Arizona from the Los Angeles Kings in the offseason, Durzi currently has five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 25 games.

His speed has been on full display during his whole NHL career, but the biggest eye-opener is his willingness to sacrifice his body.

Before his setback, Durzi was on pace to break his personal record of 142 blocked shots set last year. With 53 already in only 25 games, he has continued to demonstrate that he is not shy when it comes to getting in the way of a puck.

Listed as day-to-day, there is a chance that the 25-year-old Canadian may return against the San Jose Sharks on Friday after missing the last two matchups Arizona has had.

Either way, once he returns to the Coyotes lineup, Durzi’s presence on the ice again will show just how much they have missed him.

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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