Usually the Western Conference is brimming with quality teams. Many of them are in the Coyotes’ own Pacific Division. This season, however, the Western Conference is under-performing to such a degree that the Coyotes still have a chance.
It’s not a big chance. It’s not even a decent one, given their current predicament.
But it is possible.
A quick look at the Pacific Division shows the Arizona Coyotes are just nine points out of first place. They’re only six points out of a playoff spot.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the only team in the Western Conference that is performing well. 13 teams are all within nine points. This means that the teams that put it together soon have a good opportunity to turn it around.
The Yotes would need to show some signs of life though, and a willingness to make some changes.
For starters, the Coyotes would need to shift their strategy from “dump and chase” to a more possession-filled game. Head Coach Dave Tippett needs to update their current tactics to cater toward the skills the team does have.
Players would need to show they can grind it out for 60 minutes, not 45 or 50. Forwards would need to start shooting the puck more frequently, something they don’t seem to be prone to do.
Blue-liners would need to stop trying to complete stretch passes every time they exit the zone. They also need to reduce the frequency of some very costly mistakes, and focus on puck possession.
From a roster perspective, the team needs to shift a couple of players down to the AHL and look to add some talent through a trade or two.
It will be up to Coyotes management to take some action to show they’re not throwing in the towel on the season. With so many other teams looking for answers right now, the timing could be perfect for making the right trade move.
The Arizona Coyotes face five Pacific Division opponents in their next five games, with three of those games played at home. The Yotes have an opportunity to turn things around quickly if they can seize the moment and make the necessary adjustments.