If the Phoenix Coyotes are going to have success this season, it’s Mike Ribeiro, not goalie Mike Smith who is going to have to score a good share of goals.
But Ribeiro, with two goals, showed signs of life as a center for the Coyotes after being silent for most of the season. The former Washington Capital standout was a key acquisition over the offseason for Phoenix and needs to deliver big time.
He had two goals in that game and now has three for the season. What coach Dave Tippett likes about Ribeiro is that he finds a way to have an impact of the game and do something that’s going to change the outcome. Tippett calls Ribeiro a quirky player who can get things done. Quirky not, he has to keep getting the job done.
For the entire season, on a team with not that many prolific goal scorers, Ribeiro needs to be one. He had two games in which he scored for Phoenix so far this season. That number obviously needs to go up in a major way. Ribeiro is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer and that’s not likely to change much this season, although it wouldn’t be a bad idea if it did. In 794 career games, Ribeiro has 189 goals, plus 427 assists for 616 points. If he’s assisting someone on a goal, that’s just as good as scoring one. But Ribeiro needs to keep improving his shot so he can score more for Phoenix. That would greatly help the Coyotes in their bid to be a title contender this season.