Feb 29, 2012, 12:32 AM EDT
Maybe they don’t get the job done in the sexiest way possible, but make no mistake about it. The Phoenix Coyotes are the hottest team in the NHL right now.
Want proof? OK, here are some numbers that make the claim borderline inarguable.
- They just beat the league-leading Vancouver Canucks 2-1 via a shootout thanks in a large part to Ray Whitney‘s third period game-tying goal.
- Phoenix holds the NHL’s longest active winning streak (six games in a row).
- The Coyotes will end the night on top of the Pacific Division whether the San Jose Sharks hold on to win against the Philadelphia Flyers or not.
- Dave Tippett’s team was undoubtedly the best squad in February, going a stunning 11-0-1 (albeit with four shootout wins.)
- Mike Smith is barging his way into the Vezina Trophy argument, even if many will discount his work – quite reasonably – because of the system in front of him. Still, his 11-game winning streak leaves him at 29-14-7 with impressive individual numbers.
Yup, that’s an impressive run for a Coyotes team that looks bound to defy expectations (and some might say, logic and reason) for a third consecutive season.
Of course, the bigger question might be: can Phoenix finally translate its regular season work to playoff success? It’s tough to say, but let me provide the first bit of advice: avoid the Detroit Red Wings at all costs.
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 1
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 19
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 22
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 15
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 23
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 38
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 38
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)