Just like the Arizona Coyotes, the Tucson Roadrunners have missed out on reaching the post-season thanks to a Colorado team.
The Tucson Roadrunners have missed out on reaching the AHL playoffs after falling one point behind the Colorado Eagles.
The Roadrunners’ fortunes this season have somewhat mirrored that of their NHL affiliates, with the Arizona Coyotes also missing the playoffs – ending the season one spot behind the Colorado Avalanche.
The fortunes of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliates, however, is a story of a team that held the lead in the Pacific Division earlier in the season, only to see the team’s form drop – leading to them missing the playoffs completely.
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After earning a 4-3 OT victory over the San Diego Gulls, the Roadrunners looked poised to sneak into the final playoff spot, but a 4-3 regulation loss the following day to the gulls sealed their fate and sees Arizona go unrepresented in any professional playoff series this year.
The Coyotes organisation attempted to help the Roadrunners in their search for the post-season, sending down rookie forward Conor Garland to give their offence a boost.
Garland showed exactly why he is ready to remain in the NHL, adding an impressive six points in just three appearances since returning to the Roadrunners.
Prior to making the jump into the NHL, Garland had 19 points in just 18 regular season games with Tucson – now extending his AHL points total to 25 in just 21 games.
The promising performances from Garland will have pleased the Coyotes, but they weren’t quite enough to help the Tucson Roadrunners make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Had Garland not been needed by the NHL club this season, the fortunes of both teams may have been very different – with the Roadrunners potentially not slipping so far and the Coyotes potentially slipping further than they did.
With both Arizona teams now seeing their seasons finished by Colorado teams, an interesting rivalry could begin to develop and both teams will be determined to make smart moves this off-season to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
What do you think Roadrunners fans? Are you disappointed with how the season has panned out? What are your expectations for the team next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!