The Arizona Coyotes remain in the hunt for a wildcard spot, but a recent losing streak has seen them slip in the standings.
A four-game losing streak has seen the Arizona Coyotes fall out of the final wildcard spot, with the team now sitting one point behind the Colorado Avalanche.
The losing streak has seen the Coyotes pick up two valuable points, thanks to them pushing the Edmonton Oilers and the New Jersey Devils into OT and to a shootout.
With only seven games remaining in the regular season, the playoff chase truly will come down to the wire – as long as Rick Tocchet‘s team make sure to keep pace with the Avalanche.
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The Coyotes and Avalanche face each other on March 30th, in a game that could decide which team reaches the post-season in 2019.
During that seven-game stretch, the Coyotes will play four times at home – against the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, LA Kings and Winnipeg Jets.
The home tilt against the Wild could also have a significant impact on the final standings, with the Wild currently sat behind the Coyotes purely because the Arizona club has played one game fewer – with both teams tied at 79 points.
With one point separating three teams, the playoff hunt truly could be decided by one or two games over the final stretch – with the Coyotes having a difficult challenge against the New York Islanders today.
Some good news for the Coyotes is that Antti Raanta might be able to return to game action at some stage before the end of the regular season – giving Tocchet a solid option behind Darcy Kuemper, who has been relied on heavily this season.
Despite losing to the Devils in the shootout, the Coyotes saw the return of Derek Stepan – who will be a huge player for the team during this seven-game run.
Having him and Raanta both back and contributing, the Arizona Coyotes will have the very best chance possible of sneaking back into the playoff places – but will need to be at the very top of their game every time they step on to the ice.
Regardless of how the season ends, fans of the team will be proud of how well they have performed over 2018/19 season – but the players will undoubtedly be disappointed if they let their hold on the playoffs slip from their grasp.
A wildcard spot would be a fitting reward for the difficulties the team has overcome with hard work and strong defensive play, ending a six-year hunt for the post-season.
Seven games remain, so now is the time for the Arizona Coyotes to truly show what they are made of.
What do you think Coyotes fans? Where will the team finish by the end of the season? How do you see the playoff picture playing out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!