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Coyotes lose, need help to force decisive game vs. Stars

Apr 10, 2014, 11:22 PM EDT

Broadly speaking, the Phoenix Coyotes share at least a few traits in common with the Nashville Predators. The Coyotes’ scrappy cousins thwarted them on Thursday to the tune of a 2-0 loss, greatly damaging Phoenix’s chances of making the playoffs in the process.

Before this post gets a little more specific, here’s the “outside help” the Coyotes need in plain terms:

To lay the specifics out more precisely, here is where the two teams stand:

Dallas: 89 standings points; two games left (vs. St. Louis on Friday; at Phoenix on Sunday); Dallas has an insurmountable tiebreaker advantage, so Phoenix must finish with at least one more standings point.

Phoenix: 87 standings points; two games left (vs. San Jose on Saturday; vs. Dallas on Sunday).

However you spin this situation, the Coyotes failed down the stretch. They’ve lost six games in a row, although they manage to scavenge three standings points from OT (one loss) and shootout (two losses) defeats.

It’s been a strange stretch of outside help for both teams. The Stars beat the Predators in a shootout but lost in regulation to Columbus while the Coyotes dropped tonight’s regulation contest against Nashville after beating Columbus.

Some might say it would be fairest if Sunday’s season finale in Phoenix decides it all, but the Coyotes have to do something uncomfortable – root for the Blues, for one – to make that happen.

  1. dlhouse18 - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    So Phoenix needs to beat a tough Sharks team and Dallas has to lose any way possible to a struggling Blues team they recently crushed. Sad that this likely won’t come to the final game.

  2. muckleflugga - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    skin changers … coyote meet lemming

  3. bilbono - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Hats off to Dallas if they clinch, but hang in there Coyotes!

    As much as I liked getting 4 tickets from buying a 12-pack of soda a few years ago, it’s always better to see Phoenix in a playoff race.

    Yes, that actually happened. Lower bowl seats too.

  4. trbowman - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    A situation where the Yotes trail the Stars by one point heading into that game would be quite intriguing. Going into OT would be a loss for all intents and purposes. We’d no doubt see a goalie pulled in a tie game if that’s what needs to happen.

    Definitely hoping this game can wind up being of consequence.

  5. mikdavfle - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    I just joined this just to make this comment:

    The Coyotes have no business being a playoff team. None. They’ve been pitiful for pretty much all of 2014 but especially so since the Olympics. How many 3rd period leads have they blown since then? I want to say 10 but I might be off by a couple. Either way, a third to a half of their games post-Olympics has seen them blow a 3rd period lead. You can’t be considered a playoff team in my mind if you can’t hold a damn lead and the Coyotes can’t hold a damn lead.

    The top 6 forwards can’t score. Ribeiro has just flat disappeared at times and has been a bust of a UFA signing so far. Doan hasn’t been the same since that illness. Vrbata hasn’t performed. I could go on and on.

    It’s not coaching that’s the problem (unless the locker room has tuned Tippett out and I was worried about that earlier in the season). Goaltending isn’t really an issue because they’ve just been hung out to dry by bad turnovers far too often. The players on the team have just sucked and even if they did find a way to get into the playoffs, they’d probably be swept in 4 blowouts.

    I’m a Coyotes fan. I’ve defended this team for years during all the “bankruptcy” BS (since it was basically a smaller version of what happened to the Dodgers and not purely a fan support issue). They’ve repaid that faith in that conference final run 2 years ago (and if we hadn’t run into a Kings team that was hotter than the Sun itself, I believe we would’ve won the Cup that year) and with the ownership situation getting worked out. But I can’t defend this particular Coyotes team when they just keep playing like they have. Dallas deserves to be in the playoffs and the Coyotes don’t. It’s that simple.

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