Darcy Kuemper is playing how Arizona wanted him to when they traded for him last season.

Struggling to find a solution in net for when Antti Raanta was unavailable, the Coyotes hoped that Kuemper would be the right player for this task. Though he finished the season with a .899 save percentage last season, the team struggled to have a goaltender finish above .900 other than Raanta.

His start to the season is one of the best in his career so far. Through three games (2-1), he’s stopped 88 of 92 shots (.957) and has a goals-against average of 1.34. This leads goalies with the same amount of starts.

Last season to now:

Kuemper’s come a long way since his first season in Arizona midway through last season. He allowed four goals or more in four games and finished with a 3.22 GAA. This season, the most he’s given up was two goals in his first start.

How the offense plays when he’s in net:

The offense has woken up recently and it’s shown when he’s in net. In his three starts, the offense tallied nine goals – 36 percent of the team’s offense. 

The team scored on 10.3 percent of their power plays for the season, but with Kuemper, they’re at 18 percent with goals from Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome.

How defense plays when he’s in net:

Besides Kuemper, the defense is another surprise to the team. Ranked second in the penalty kill (89.3), he has yet to give up a power play goal.

The combination of good defense and goaltending has allowed only one game decided between one goal (the 2-1 loss to Minnesota). The rest were wins within three goals against two good offensive teams. Columbus and Vancouver are ranked fourteenth and sixteenth respectively.

Even though he will see less time with Raanta back, he still provides a viable option for when he’s needed in a game. Winning without their top starter is something the Coyotes needed to prove after struggling with other goaltenders in net. With Kuemper giving a good performance in a short time, they might have an answer to this issue.

In Case You Missed It:

Jakob Chychrun (knee) is cleared for contact and is slated to return in early November, possibly for their next road trip that begins on November 8 in Philadelphia.

Alex Galchenyuk gathered his first point with the Coyotes on an assist on Clayton Keller’s goal vs. Vancouver.

Christian Fischer scored his first career hat trick in Columbus to close out the Coyotes’ road trip (2-2).

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I am fortunate to have grown up in California after the time that hockey became popular in the state. I fell in love with hockey attending Anaheim Ducks games and watching their Stanley Cup run in ‘07. Sports have always been in my life because my family enjoys going to sporting events and following the four major sports. Without sports, we would not be as close as we are with them in our lives. Being able to bring all types of people together to watch a game is a powerful aspect that I love. I am thankful that my family introduced me to something that would later turn into a passion.
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I am fortunate to have grown up in California after the time that hockey became popular in the state. I fell in love with hockey attending Anaheim Ducks games and watching their Stanley Cup run in ‘07. Sports have always been in my life because my family enjoys going to sporting events and following the four major sports. Without sports, we would not be as close as we are with them in our lives. Being able to bring all types of people together to watch a game is a powerful aspect that I love. I am thankful that my family introduced me to something that would later turn into a passion.

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