The Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks have never really been that big of rivals. Tonight however their matchup should be like a playoff atmosphere.
The Vancouver Canucks have fallen. After sitting at the top of the Pacific Division just a few weeks ago, a three-game losing steak now finds them just two points above the Coyotes. With two games in hand, Vancouver will be looking to get back on track against the Coyotes tonight in Vancouver.
It is weird to imagine how these two teams are in the same boat. If the Coyotes miss the playoffs fans should be upset, and change will likely happen. The same is true for Vancouver. Both teams are young and have a pretty good mixture of veteran leadership and young untapped skill. I think that while Vancouver has a little more offensive skill, we have more skill in our own end. That is, of course, when the team chooses to play the right way.
Both the Canucks and Coyotes have a lot riding on this season. While neither really declared themselves playoff teams, their moves, or lack thereof from the Coyotes side, around the trade deadline illustrates that this season should end in the playoffs.
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Both of these two teams are vying for wildcard spots right now, granted Vancouver can knock Calgary back down to a wildcard if they can put together a few wins with the games in hand they have.
Now tonight’s matchup will be critical for the Arizona Coyotes to have any chance at making the playoffs. Beating Vancouver is the first step in the Coyotes next 15 games. THey are going to need everyone at their best, but I would especially watch out for Clayton Keller and Taylor Hall, as they have been leading the offense as of late.
I would also like to see Conor Garland have a big game offensively, but I think the bigger thing about tonight’s game will be keeping the puck out of the net. The Coyotes can not expect to win if they give up more than two goals. We do not have an offense that can keep up with Vancouver. So let’s go out there and play well defensively and try and get the win!