The Arizona Coyotes have turned from a slumping team to a team just on a full nose-dive down in the standings, because of this holding onto the wildcard spot has become that more challenging.
The Coyotes are 2-5-3 their last ten games, the only team in the pacific division with a worse record are the Los Angles Kings who are 2-7-1. Having the second-worst record in the division is not a recipe for a Stanley Cup Playoff team, and because of that, the Coyotes are barely holding onto a playoff spot.
I know that the Coyotes can not play their best throughout the entirety of an 82 game season, but now they are looking less and less like a playoff team. A lot of the comments right now about the Coyotes are about how they are not even a playoff team. While their play has not shown a Stanley Cup contender, on paper they are still good.
This team has great forward depth. Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller have been on the third line this season, and Conor Garland has had his bouts on the fourth line. This team also has a great defense and penalty kill. While our defense has shown some holes throughout the past month, that does not change the fact when they are playing their best they are pretty good.
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I just find it confusing that when the Coyotes got Taylor Hall via trade and Niklas Hjalmarsson back from injury reserved that was when the team started to really struggle. Maybe the mentality changed from we as a team can win this to a few of us will carry us through the second half.
All I know for sure is that the Coyotes need to start focusing on the little battles. Rather than worry about their spot in the standings or their play as of late they just need to focus on the next faceoff, the next shift.
Just look at the super bowl last night. It was not won thanks to an entire game of great play by the Chiefs. Rather it was a few great drives at the end of the game. You have to focus on winning the next battle without dwelling on the previous. The Coyotes can learn from that, rather than dwelling on their last three games just focus on the next one.