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The Coyotes need to play better with the lead

With preseason beginning tomorrow, the Coyotes are going to need to play better with the lead next season if they want success.

Hannah Foslien

Last season the Arizona Coyotes were two points away from making the playoffs. If just one of their regulation losses had been a win, the Coyotes would have made the postseason and who knows what would have happened from there. Unfortunately, the Coyotes had so many chances to get that one win.

The Coyotes were 27th in win percentage when leading after two periods last season. Their 23-6-4 record was only better than the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, two teams that teams do not want to be in the same company with. Arizona's six regulation losses is tied with the Islanders for most losses when leading after two periods and no playoff team had more than three regulation losses when leading after two periods.

Arizona was actually OK in getting to the third period with a lead at least. Their record may have been terrible, but in 33 games they went into the third period with a lead which puts them tied at 12th in the league. They were also 7th in win percentage when trailing after two periods, however being as no team won more than 10 games in that scenario, that is not something to be counted on.

That all being said, there are reasons to have hope. Historically, the Coyotes have been a lot better in the past at both getting into the final period with a lead and and maintaining that lead.


Record leading after 2

Win Percentage

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*Lockout shortened season

Like many NHL teams when they have the lead, the Coyotes will play a defensive game in an effort to maintain that lead. While many fans hate that move, it has traditionally worked for the Coyotes, they just weren't successful in doing it last season. Last season the Coyotes gave up 75 goals in the third period, but in 2011-12 when they won the Pacific Division, they only gave up 54, fewest in the NHL that year.

With the preseason starting tomorrow, the Coyotes need to find a way to hold onto their leads in the third period. Last season they were dreadful in the the third and as a result they missed the playoffs. Six regulation losses while leading going into the final period is unacceptable, especially when they were one regulation win away from getting into the playoffs.