Five Reasons The Phoenix Coyotes Are Playoff Bound

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The Phoenix Coyotes Will Make The Playoffs This Season And This Is Why — 

The Phoenix Coyotes missed the playoffs during the “lockout” shortened 2012-13 season but I don’t think that will be the case in 2013-14 and here is why.

1.  The Hierarchy:  I’m going to lump the new ownership, re-signing of General Manager Don Maloney and the re-signing of Head Coach Dave Tippett in the the first category.  These men don’t play but they do help shape what is eventually the finished product on the ice.  The Phoenix Coyotes have always had tremendous leadership from the GM and Coaches and never ever let the lack of ownership become a distraction.  It was probably always there in the back of their minds but they put on a brave face every night and went to work.  Now there is no hint of a doubt about the new ownership thanks to the men of “ICE ARIZONA”.  These men are committed to making the Phoenix Coyotes a viable franchise.  All the players have to do now is just play!!!

Mike Smith2

Mike Smith

2.  Mike Smith:  The Coyotes goalie is coming off of a season that could be best described as good but not great.  Fair enough?   One night I was on twitter and some Coyote fans were less than enthused with Smittie’s play.  I pointed out that his play was probably a direct result of the lockout.  Most fans went Huh???  I went on to explain.  The “Goalie/Goalie Coach” relationship is hard to understand and even harder to explain.  During the NHL Lockout, the players were not allowed to have contact with the team’s coaches and/or facilities.  Sean Burke is the Phoenix Coyotes goalie coach and he is considered to be one of the best.  I’m sure Mike Smith really missed his time with his coach.  These guys speak another language and understand each other.  I mean these dudes willingly stand in front of 100 mph slap-shots and actually LIKE IT!!!

3.  Their Defence:  They say that it takes ten defencemen if you’re going to make a long run in the playoffs.  The Phoenix Coyotes have an embarrassment of riches on the back end.  Young, talented, mobile defencemen that are all fighting for ice-time.  The Coyotes have NHL calibre defencemen on their AHL affiliate in Portland because they don’t have enough room on their active roster.  They have some valuable assets that may be used as trade chips later on down the road.

4.  Mike Ribeiro:  Ribeiro is the center the Coyotes have needed and been looking for the past couple of years.  With so much of todays NHL spent on special teams, you need to be in the upper half of the league statistically when it comes to your PP and PK.  Mike Ribeiro will be a big asset on the PP.  He is the pure passer this team has needed for awhile.

Shane Doan

Shane Doan

5.  Shane Doan:  In today’s NHL, most team captains are some “superstar” forward that puts up big scoring numbers and statistics. Not that Shane Doan is a slouch in the scoring department but be brings much more to the table than goals and assists.  As the team captain, he leads by example.  Dave Tippett’s teams are hard working teams that play to a system that requires a high compete level from every line.  The Phoenix Coyotes can’t win without hard work and the captain, along with the leadership group of this team, keep everybody accountable. This team really does have that “pack mentality” and when they are all pulling in the same direction they are a tough team to play against and a tough team to beat.

6.  Bonus Reason:  This season the Western Conference consists of only fourteen teams.  The NHL’s realignment had two teams moving to the Eastern Conference.  The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets are now playing in the Eastern Conference and they were both playoff teams in the West in 2012-13.   Conversely, the Winnipeg Jets who weren’t a playoff team last season in the East have joined the Western Conference’s Central Division.  Do the math.  Two less playoff teams to compete with in a smaller conference.  That should add up to an increased chance to reach the post-season ~ in theory.  BUT, they still have to play the game on the ice.

If you consider all the aforementioned reasons, I believe the logical conclusion is that the Phoenix Coyotes will make the playoffs.

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