Mar 19, 2010, 2:00 PM EST
OK, this is probably crazy … even for the wacky stuff I bring up every now and then. Still, I cannot help but ask: could the Phoenix Coyotes sneak up on the San Jose Sharks and steal the Pacific division?
First let’s look at the simplest (and most important) numbers: the standings. The Sharks have 96 points and 43 wins in 70 games with a 12-5-4 division record. The Coyotes have 93 points and 44 wins in 71 games with an 11-7-3 mark in the Pacific.
So it’s still a solid lead for San Jose, but it truly is shocking how close things have become. The teams are clearly going in different directions: the Sharks have lost four in a row and the Coyotes are on an amazing seven game winning streak. Obviously, if things keep going this way, Phoenix could very well find themselves on the top of the division against all odds.
How possible is it, really? Let me make a simple breakdown of each team’s remaining schedules. Naturally, the road ahead isn’t everything, but in a tough as nails Western Conference it could make the difference.
Schedule breakdown and final thoughts after the jump.
San Jose schedule breakdown
12 games left, 7 on the road. Their only back-to-back will be finished today against Calgary. They only have one game against Phoenix, at home. The Sharks do have an extra game this season. Not too many tough games – in my opinion – aside from two against Vancouver.
Phoenix schedule breakdown
11 games left, 7 on the road. Two back to backs (vs. Chi, @ Dal; @Van, @Cgy). Their game against San Jose is on the road. Their schedule is pretty tough down the stretch, with two games against Chicago, one against Vancouver, one against LA and one against Nashville.
Looking at each team’s situation, I think that the Sharks will maintain their shrinking lead on the Pacific division crown. Then again, the Coyotes have been overcoming the odds all season long, so why not keep going?
- Struggling Kings complete the comeback against Blackhawks 1
- Video: Tempers boil over between Capitals, Penguins 27
- Isles’ Clutterbuck latest to be fined for diving 18
- No hearing scheduled for Kesler after ‘dirty play’ on Dorsett 22
- Why NHL fans — no matter where they live — should care about the plunging Canadian dollar 32
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc 63
- Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza 31
- Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated) 44
- Mike Richards clears waivers 35
- Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm 15