Arizona Coyotes finally showing playoff potential

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 30: Brad Richardson #15 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammates Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23, Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 and Nick Cousins #25 after his first period goal against the Ottawa Senators at Gila River Arena on October 30, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 30: Brad Richardson #15 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammates Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23, Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 and Nick Cousins #25 after his first period goal against the Ottawa Senators at Gila River Arena on October 30, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Arizona Coyotes currently sit 21st in the NHL, but their recent performances have finally shown that the team have a real shot at making the playoffs this season.

The Coyotes had a torrid time last season, finishing 29th in the NHL with a 29-41-12 record – good for just 70 points.

Rick Tocchet‘s team had a difficult start to the season, starting with a 1-4-0 record, and many people began to question whether or not the pre-season hype around the team was justifiable.

Now, entering November, the Coyotes sit with a 6-5-0 record and have been dominating their opponents in their most recent outings.

More from Coyotes News

The team currently have the second-best penalty killing unit in the entire NHL, with a sensational 90.6% success rate so far this season.

The old adage of offence wins games but defence wins championships could certainly be a philosophy that gives the Arizona Coyotes strong belief that they are a playoff-worthy team.

On the back of a stellar PK unit, the Coyotes also face the fourth-fewest number of shots on average in games – something that has helped contribute to goaltender Antti Raanta‘s excellent stats.

In eight games he has played this season, Raanta has a goal against average of just 1.99 with a save percentage of .926.

These are Vezina-consideration level stats, with the Coyotes allowing a league-low 21 goals against.

Even when they were losing, the Arizona Coyotes defence still performed well and was noticed by many around the league.

The biggest concern for the team was their lack of goals – with just two scored in regulation time over the first four games of the season.

Since losing 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild, the Coyotes have sported a 5-1-0 record and have scored a phenomenal 27 goals.

The Coyotes conceded 10 goals across the same stretch, with five of them coming in just one game – the 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

That means that in their five recent victories, the team have scored 24 goals and allowed just five – an outstanding achievement this early in the season.

The quick turnaround of results will be a brilliant sight to see for the fans, with last season’s team earning their first victory on the 30th October.

Things can change quickly in sports and the end to last season showed the potential of this team, something that is finally coming through – particularly in demolishing wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7-1) and Ottawa Senators (5-1).

If the Coyotes can keep up these kinds of performances, then playoffs will quickly become the expectation rather than the hope.

dark. Next. Arizona Coyotes targeted Patrick Maroon

What do you think Coyotes fans? How pleased have you been with the team’s performances recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!