Some players don’t hit their stride until later in their career. Steve Sullivan appears to be heading that route this season for the Phoenix Coyotes with four goals in the team’s first five games. The biggest problem with Sullivan is staying healthy and at age 38, that will be easier said than done.
Sullivan managed to play just 48 games last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and while this is only a 48-game slate for the National Hockey League this year, I’m not sure that the Coyotes can depend on Sullivan keeping up his solid early pace. Sullivan was brought in to replace the punch that Ray Whitney brought the team before leaving in free agency and has made a great opening statement. If the Coyotes can get 30-35 points out of Sullivan this season, Phoenix could find themselves solidly in the playoffs where they could make a ton of noise.
It has been a rough start for Phoenix with a 1-4 record heading into Monday night and with over 10 percent of the season now over with, the Coyotes need Sullivan to continue doing what he has done this season. There are high expectations in Phoenix after a successful playoff run last season, so hopefully Sullivan can continue his hot start to the season and get the Coyotes back to the playoffs. The Western Conference is very difficult this year and Phoenix is in last place right now. The Coyotes are averaging over three goals a game, but with an injury to goalie Mike Smith presently, the Coyotes may need to score even more to be successful.