Coyotes’ Cooley & Guenther Building Special Chemistry

Coyotes celebrate after Clayton Keller scores a goal against the Boston Bruins
Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Nick Schmaltz #8, Dylan Guenther #11 and Sean Durzi #50 after Keller scored a a power-play goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period of the NHL game at Mullett Arena on January 09, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes rather hot start to the 2023-24 NHL season came falling down after the All-Star Break due to a brutal 14-game loosing streak. Nevertheless, the chemistry that has been building between forwards Logan Cooley and Dylan Guenther has become all the talk down in the Valley of the Sun, and for all of the right reasons.

Dylan Guenther watches the play in the neutral zone against the Winnipeg Jets
The Arizona Coyotes assigned forward Dylan Guenther to the already-loaded Seattle Thunderbirds. COURTESY PHOTO, Arizona Coyotes

Since being paired together for the first since the preseason on Jan. 11 in a game against the Calgary Flames, the pair has been inseparable. “Since Gunner’s with us, Cooley is twice the player he was,” coach André Tourigny said. The future of the Coyotes has only grown brighter, and it’s thanks to the chemistry the two have put on display.

Feeding Off One Another

Since January, the duo have only fed off one another, and it’s been rather immanent in their game. Cooley, who struggled for the first half of the season, has registered 10 goals and three assists since joining Guenther on a line. The aforementioned on the other hand has recorded eight goals and nine assists during that same time. That’s 30 points between the two over the last 29 games on the same pairing.

“We play fast, I think we play with speed — it’s probably our best asset — and we complement each other well,” Guenther said. “He’s a pretty puck-possessive player, he skates really well and I’m kind of able to get open. I can make plays, too, but I try to use my shot to create opportunities so I think we have started to build some chemistry off the ice and it’s kind of helped on the ice.”

The thing that’s impressed fans and spectators the most has been the two’s individual skill sets and their ability to find each other on the ice. This is evident from Cooley’s goal on Mar. 14 against the Detroit Red Wings on a slick pass from Guenther while short-handed. Even when they’re scoring, the pair seems to be unstoppable on the ice, findings ways to create chances and disrupt the oppositions’ opportunities.

From Growing Pains, To League Recognition

As mentioned above, the duo didn’t start on a line together, and both greatly struggled prior before. Cooley’s game was in a rut, having only recorded 19 points prior to the team’s matchup with Calgary in January. Since then he’s nearly matched that point total in 10 less games. Guenther on the other hand started the season in Tucson with the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate after spending 33 games with the team the season prior.

Defenseman Travis Dermott celebrates with Logan Cooley after a shorthanded goal against the Detroit Red Wings
Coyotes center Logan Cooley, right, is greeted by defenseman Travis Dermott (33) after scoring on Red Wings. March 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Two games prior to making his line debut with Cooley, Guenther earned a call up from the Tucson Roadrunners, and since then has turned into one of the Coyotes deadliest players, showcasing on a nightly basis his pinpoint shooting ability and precision passing.

The Duo Will Only Grow Stronger

The Coyotes have had some great duos in their franchise’s history from Keith Tkachuk and Jeremey Roenick, to the aforementioned “Killer D’s” (Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, and now the current duo, Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz. Another duo is forming in the desert as we speak in Cooley and Guenther. The future promises even more deadly duos as the Coyotes continue to get better. Conor Geekie and Josh Doan, son of franchise legend Shane Doan, both look to be the next great pairing to come out of Arizona.

As the Coyotes continue to look for their future home in the American Southwest, the on-ice product is only going to get more competitive. The expansive pool of young talent being developed in the organization continues to receive league-wide recognition and praise from general manager Bill Armstrong. With the Coyotes set to turn the next page, Cooley and Guenther are the perfect fit to lead the charge.

Haynes Evans

Mr. Evans is originally from Greenville, SC where he currently resides. Mr. Evans has been involved in hockey for the past 19 years now, following the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. During his free time, Mr. Evans enjoys spending time with his family and fiancée, as well as being up in the mountains or taking pictures. Prior to joining Inside the Rink, Mr. Evans previously worked for The Hockey Writers, covering the Arizona Coyotes, The Puck Authority, covering the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and FanSided’s Bleedin’ Blue, covering the St. Louis Blues. You can find Mr. Evans on Twitter at @HaynesPEvans.

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