The Arizona Coyotes are in the thick of the Western Conference Playoff Race. The means Coyote fans and players alike will be keeping a close eye on the out of town scoreboard.
With only 18 regular-season games remaining on the schedule for the Arizona Coyotes, those out of town scores won’t mean a ton and go for naught if the ‘Yotes can’t take care of their own business and finish the season strong. It is not ideal to be having to rely on help from other clubs at this point in the season as you would love to be in control of your own destiny, but after a 2-month lull, that is exactly where the club finds itself, needing help. According to PlayoffStatus.com, the Coyotes have a 34% chance of making the playoffs. That being said, let’s take a look at some teams around the league and where they currently sit and how it affects the chances of the Coyotes locking up a postseason berth.
Winnipeg Jets – Our old friends the Jets are also looking towards the postseason. They have the exact same number of games played as the Coyotes at 68 as well as points at 74. The Coyotes would love to see the Jets stumble down the stretch because if they don’t, it’s just another team in the jumbled Western Conference who can snatch a potential playoff spot away from them.
Nashville Predators – The suddenly surging Predators have a game in hand on the Coyotes putting them at 67 games played on the season and 74 points. Suffice it to say, if the Predators keep playing the way they are playing it’s tough to see the Coyotes overtaking them for a seat in the playoffs.
Vancouver Canucks – The Coyotes took care of business the other night in Vancouver, leaving Rogers Arena with a much-needed win. However, the Canucks still sit at 74 points and in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference and have 2 games in hand on the Coyotes as well. The saving grace for the Coyotes is they get to play the Canucks 3 more times before the season ends and will provide an opportunity for the Coyotes to close the gap on their division rival.
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Minnesota Wild – The Wild have seemingly come out of nowhere to sit alone in the first wild card spot in the Western Conference. They have 75 points in 67 games. Hopefully, the wild cool off a bit, because if they do, it could potentially yield another playoff-opening for the ‘Yotes.
Calgary Flames – The Coyotes take on the Flames tonight in Calgary in what will have huge playoff implications for both clubs. The Flames sit at 68 games played and have amassed 77 points. A win over this division rival would not only help, but would be vital to the Coyotes chance of trying to sneak into the playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers – The Oilers are at 80 points in 68 games. Even with McDavid sidelines for a bit, the ‘Yotes to this point have been unable to take advantage of that in the standings department. The Oilers are sitting pretty at the moment in terms of making the playoffs and it would be asking alot for the Coyotes pass the Oilers in terms of playoff positioning.
Now that alot of teams vying for the playoffs in the Western Conference have somewhat caught up to the Coyotes and are in the same neighborhood in terms of games played, it gives the Coyotes a clearer picture of where they stand and what their playoff odds look like. So after taking a look at a snapshot of where everyone sits in the Western Conference playoff picture right now, it has become evident that the Coyotes will certainly need some help from the hockey gods to secure a spot in the postseason.
What I was trying to illustrate in this article is that there are a whole heck of a lot of teams still very much in contention, and a lot of teams unfortunately in a better spot at this point in time to make the playoffs than our beloved Coyotes. But not all hope is lost, because as bad as the team has played for the last 2 months or so, somehow, someway, there is still a chance. But for that chance to come to fruition and before us fans and players alike start monitoring the out of town scores, the Coyotes must take care of their own scoreboard first if they want to see that 34% chance of making the playoffs climb.