Monday Morning Musings: Playoffs?

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

A look back at an interesting week in Coyotes hockey with thoughts and observations from Managing Editor Jaime Eisner.

Given how maddeningly inconsistent the Phoenix Coyotes have been recently (and all season), it may come as a surprise to some that Phoenix finished last week 3-1-0.

There were some bumps in the road, most notably the first period in Boston and the second period against the Flames at home, but the Coyotes also manged to win a game in Tampa Bay after trailing twice, then handled Florida the very next night and came away with six of a possible eight points to catch the Stars.

The Coyotes will get a rematch against Boston and Florida, this time in Glendale, later this week, but have to go on the road in hopes of defeating their biggest rival.

Before Phoenix heads out to Los Angeles, here are a few tidbits and notes from the week that was in Coyotes hockey:

- The Coyotes may have caught the Stars in points (75), but the Desert Dogs are still fighting a uphill battle to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Dallas currently holds a game in hand on Phoenix as well as multiple tie breakers.

- Even if the Stars lose their next game, they have a two ROW lead on Phoenix. Even if the Coyotes catch Dallas in ROW, the Stars have the next tie-breaker by virtue of winning the first two meetings in regulation.

- If the Coyotes are able to pull within one point of the Stars by the final game of the regular season, the two teams face each other in Glendale on April 13 in a regulation win or go home game for the final playoff spot.

- Vancouver, Winnipeg and Nashville have struggled in their last 10 games and have all but shut the door on any chance they can catch the Coyotes or Stars. Phoenix does not have to worry about a team catching them from behind and can just look ahead.

- Chris Summers scored his first NHL goal on Saturday night, seven seasons after the Coyotes drafted him 29th overall. He has taken a while to develop, but the Coyotes have stuck with him over the years, including last offseason when they gave him a one-way contract.

- Mike Smith had another solid week in net saving 93 percent of the shots he faced.

- With a pair of assists on Saturday night, Keith Yandle took over the team's points lead with 47 (7-40-47).

- Speaking of scoring, no Coyote is currently on pace to break the 30-goal or 60-point marks. Yandle is on pace to score 57 points and Antoine Vermette is on pace to score 27 goals.

- The last full season where no Coyote reached the 60-point mark -- 2009-10 when Shane Doan led the team with 55 points.

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