One of the best stories in the NHL this season can do the unthinkable tonight and become a playoff team with two different opportunities to do it.
That story is the Phoenix Coyotes and they play host to another unexpected playoff contender, the Colorado Avalanche, Saturday night in hopes of bringing the White Out back to Phoenix.
But before the puck drops the team could possibly have that fabulous looking ‘x’ next to their names in the standings signifying a playoff berth. How so you ask? The Calgary Flames, the only team outside of the playoffs that has a mathematical chance of catching the Coyotes, play the Boston Bruins in an afternoon game that will be completed long before the Coyote players will even arrive at ‘The Job’ (Jobing.com Arena).
With the playoffs now within their reach the team needs to begin working on finishing the game in the first 60 minutes, rather then finishing games in the shootout, something they have done A LOT of in the month of March.
Their opponent tonight is the only team in the playoffs that the Coyotes are below .500 against this season, the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche were in the same boat as the Coyotes earlier this season, being overlooked by almost every analyst in the broadcast world to make the playoffs. But here they are in the top eight of the conference and could very well be a first round opponent of the Yotes seeing how the Avs are a mere win away from moving up to fifth place.
The Avalanche also have this young stud sniper who has put up 15 points in 11 games for the Avs since they acquired him at the trade deadline. That player is Coyotes castaway Peter Mueller and he has been on fire since re-gaining his confidence.
The last time these two met was the day after the trade deadline and saw the Coyotes win 3-1 with a goal scored in the final 30 seconds by Wojtek Wolski, the player the Coyotes traded Mueller (and Kevin Porter) for.
With a win tonight the Coyotes will officially have a .500 or higher record against every team currently in the playoffs, which is a great sign for when the post season rolls around.
It has been announced that the game is once again a sell out, which again proves my theory that in Arizona, if you don’t win, you will not have fans. Hopefully the team will give their hometown fans another exciting game tonight and can give a good preview of what this team and the atmosphere will be like come playoff time.
Here is to hoping for another winning streak starting tonight. GO YOTES GO!!!
Updated 3:52- Calgary Lost, THE WHITE OUT RETURNS TO THE DESERT!!!! COYOTES ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!
About the Author
Written by Matt Shott
22 year old hockey fan born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Weird, huh? Entire family minus myself and my brother were born in Toronto, ON so thats how I became a fan of this great sport. I have worked at Ice rinks since I was 14 and spend all day reading hockey stories. I eat, sleep, coach, play, and basically LIVE hockey. I became a Red Wing fan thanks to EA Sports NHL '95 and haven't looked back since (Why would I?). Parents were Season Ticket holders for the Phoenix Coyotes since day 1 and when they moved to Portland 3 years ago, I picked up where they left off and have found a soft spot for them. I moved to Toronto in January '10 to attend Centennial College's Sports Journalism program, so I am becoming a Maple Leafs fan in the process. Its hard to do after 16 years of being a Red Wings fan. So to recap: Wings fan at heart, Leafs fan on the outside, and always carry a soft spot for the Coyotes.