This is a good opportunity to look at the Coyote’s season thus far and what I perceive as their playoff chances. They are currently on a 4 day rest before taking on the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow.
As it stands, they have played 16 games and 18 points to stand at 7th in the Western Conference as I write this. So how does this compare to a full season and the pace of last season’s playoff line?
Last season, the LA Kings made the playoffs with 95 points in the full season. This 95 point line is a very common line many teams look to as a line between playoffs and visiting the golf course early. Through the magic of using some quick easy math, one could say that a comparable number teams should shoot for in this season is 55-56 points. Oh and if anyone has questions about how I arrived at such numbers throughout this blog, feel free to ask.
Now that we know that teams are going to want around 56 points, what pace are the Coyotes on at 16 games in? Luckily for me, 16 is one third of the 48 game schedule that the league has constructed this season… So the math is that much easier. With 18 points in one third of the season, the Coyotes could continue at the exact same points per game and end up at about 54 points at the end of the season.
What does that say for their chances? Well they are not far off from the pace that was good enough to make the playoffs last season. They have set themselves up into a manageable position to make the playoffs so far with their play. However, they are going at a little lower of a pace then what any fan would consider comfortable.
Last season, the Coyotes had a positive start to the season up until December, where they lost 4 more games than they won. Then January really kicked their butts with a -6 but they made up for it with a great month of February (+10) to really save their season. March saw them lose 4 more games than they won but they finished April up strong to go positive for the season overall (+2). When I say positive or negative, I am saying that a win counts as plus 1 and a loss is -1, including shootout loses. This isn’t a great way to analyze a season, but it’s quick and does give a decent picture of what happened during a season.
If this Coyotes team is anything similar to last year’s team, then I have to believe that they will have their bad stretches but then they will win when it counts. This season has seen them off to a slow start; however their month of February so far is double the amount of wins to losses. If I apply the same +/- system I did for last season to this season, they are at an even 0.
It will come down to whether the team can get healthy and stay healthy for this shortened season, in my opinion. I also cannot account for how this shortened season will affect this Coyotes team. They could perform totally differently than they normally would! That’s the wonder of hockey... It’s totally unpredictable at times. Just grab your beverage of choice and watch the season unfold. Thanks for reading!