Jason Harrison – howlinhockey.com

Arizona Coyotes winger Max Domi won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championships.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy was denied a shot at a bronze medal by Russia yesterday. Max Domi made good on his attempt at gold, however.

Team Canada triumphed over Finland in a rematch from the round robin stages and triumphed 2-0.

The game-winner was scored by the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid, and Cam Talbot managed to save all 16 shots he faced to secure Canada’s second straight world championship.

Max Domi skated just 2:59 in the contest, but he now has a World Championship gold medal to add to his World Junior Championship gold from last year. If he keeps improving at the rate he has been, perhaps he’ll get an Olympics gold medal in the future…provided they continue to exist.

Domi scored one goal in 10 games for Canada and was whistled for 4 penalty minutes. It’s not the greatest stat-line, but his teammate McDavid also had no goals going into the championship game.

Murphy Falls Short of Bronze

His teammate Connor Murphy failed to capture bronze against Russia the day before, however.

Murphy was an alternate captain for Team USA and had himself quite the showing which is sure to excite Arizona Coyotes faithful.

Murphy scored 3 goals and had 2 assists for his country at Worlds, and skated 17:52 in the losing effort against Russia.

In the team’s semifinal game against Team Canada, Murphy was the recipient of a 10-minute misconduct penalty as well as a minor penalty to tally all 12 of his penalty minutes from the tournament in the same game. USA lost that game 4-3.

Building For the Future

Win, lose, or draw, the 2016 IIHF World Championships will likely prove to be a great building block for Domi and Murphy.

We have already seen Max Domi take on a leadership role with the Arizona Coyotes in his rookie season. Now, with Murphy doing the same for Team USA in international competition, the leadership void that will be left by Shane Doan’s eventual departure looks a little less grim.

The Yotes desperately need Connor Murphy to keep his offensive stroke and maintain that same level of testiness he showed in 2015-16 after being scratched by head coach Dave Tippett.

The team is in dire straights defensively, barring new general manager John Chayka finding a gem in trade or via free agency. It is doubtful that a defenseman drafted at #7 overall will stay with the team after training camp.

Murphy making a leap would be a huge boon to the Arizona Coyotes.

Then, Max Domi just needs to continue being Max Domi. Hopefully the incoming reinforcements will take care of the rest.