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Coyote Tracks - Tuesday March 16 Edition

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Well, the Coyotes play tonight against the Lightning.  Coyotes are an amazing 20 games over .500, and well on their way to the playoffs barring a major collapse.  In fact, the Coyotes number is 7...or 5.5...really, I'm not entirely sure, but I'll post the two links after the jump, you can review them yourselves and make your own judgment.  Either way, the Coyotes just need to keep on winning to ensure home ice advantage for the first round (and, who knows, maybe if the Sharks want to keep on losing...).

Travis will have the game preview up later...just be aware of the line of Steve Downie - Martin St. Louis - Steven Stamkos.  The Lightning played really well when they came to Jobing.com Arena earlier in the season, hopefully the Coyotes can return the favor.

LAST NIGHT'S NHL SCORES:  BOS 2 - NJ 3; EDM 3 - CLS 5; DET 2 - CGY 1

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After the jump - big days ahead for the Coyotes and Ice Edge Holdings, what exactly is the Coyotes magic number, Desert Ninja gets a star and Bryzzie's amazing year continues...

Scott Burnside's Power Play: The playoff outlook and future of hockey in Phoenix - ESPN
The coming week will tell us a lot about the playoff picture and the Coyotes' future in Phoenix. Scott Burnside tells all in this week's Power Play.

Daryl Jones - The FAN 590 Toronto - Audio on Demand
The COO of Ice Edge gives an interview on Toronto radio...I haven't had a chance to listen, but I am sure it is interesting and worth listening to.

Phoenix Coyotes Playoff Chances - Sports Club Stats
According to this site (which provided the basis for Travis' original magic number), the Coyotes magic number is now 5.5 (or thereabouts)...

Coyotes Playoff Scenarios as of March 15th – The Magic number is 7 | Fanster.com - All Sports. All Phoenix.
AZ Vibe on the other hand, has us at 7.  I'm going to be like Fox News on this one (GAH!) and just report the information and let you decide...

Illegal is illegal, regardless of injury - ProHockeyTalk - Hockey - NBC Sports
I like Brandon's take on this...and it's something that I've always felt (and is in accordance with many legal concepts, which certainly suits me).  The final injury doesn't tell us nearly as much as the action...just because Brian Campbell hits the boards unluckily doesn't make the it worse than something like Matt Cooke's.  And this isn't to say that I don't think Alex Ovechkin deserved his suspension, because I'm actually ok with that.  But focusing on the injury is asking the wrong question, for sure.

Bryzgalov leading Coyotes' charge up standings - NHL.com - In The Spotlight
One of the biggest reasons for the Coyotes' rise in the Western Conference has been the outstanding play of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov...a real nice spotlight on the year Bryz has been having.  The early part of the article talks about a 3 game losing streak against San Jose in 2007...for those of you that remember this, it really was an ugly set of games; I've tried to block them out...

The Vezina Race: Ryan Miller vs. the Western Conference - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Ryan Miller is in great shape to win the Vezina, but Bryz should definitely be in the discussion...and with 13 games to go for Bryz and 15 for Miller, anything can happen.

Samuelsson, Stempniak and Rinne named Stars of the Week - NHL.com - The Hot List
Go Desert Ninja - Lee Stempniak really deserved this accolade, but can't fault the choice of Mikael Samuelsson for 1st overall star as he had quite a week.

Your choice for the Crosby Golden Roar art contest winner - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
I'd like to congratulate Travis for his fine showing...it wasn't one of the top 3, but he got to the finals and that is more than I can say for most of the 300 entries.  Good job Travis - you'll win it next time.

Adversity part of the game for Lundmark family - Elliotte Friedman
A nice little story about former Coyote Jamie Lundmark and his family...with some interesting notes at the bottom on most teams in the league...

And for your whimsy...the craziest idea from the GM meetings...

See you back here for the Lightning game tonight...you've got links, post them in the comments...