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Coyotes finally get some respect

People didn’t have a lot of faith in the Arizona Coyotes the first time we did this, but things have changed since then.

This season SB Nation has partnered with FanPulse to get the fans’ thoughts about several issues. Fans haven’t always been right, but it is interesting to see what fans around the league think about various issues.

The first poll was which non-playoff team from last season would make it this season, along with which playoff team would miss. It was still early in the season so you could forgive fans from underestimating the Arizona Coyotes. But over halfway through the season fans can no longer underestimate the Desert Dogs.

And if you want to get in on the fun feel free to sign up.

The Coyotes have truly proved that they are the real deal this season. The Coyotes are currently 26-18-5 on the season, and they have a narrow lead on first in the Pacific Division. Their offense is currently ranked 19th in the league, far from elite but better than last season, and they are currently ranked 7th in goals against.

In addition to the success on the ice, and the acquisition of pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall is a signal that the Coyotes are going all in this season. That’s not to say they are a lock for the postseason, and fans around the league know that, but it will be a surprise for a lot of people if they miss at this point.

Fun Fact: No one voted for the Detroit Red Wings to make the playoffs in this most recent poll. No one.

Compared to the last poll, the Sharks have taken the lead as the team most likely to miss. San Jose may not be the worst team in California anymore, but it is hard to argue that they are going to be able to make the playoffs.

New to the list are the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames, taking the place of the New York Islanders and Dallas Stars. Calgary is currently near the top of the Pacific, but it’s a very tight race and they could very easily end up on the outside looking in. Nashville has been a major disappointment this season, and it is going to be really tough to win a Western Conference Wild Card spot.