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Coyotes need to play their best against division rivals

The Arizona Coyotes are deep in the hunt for a playoff spot and division matchups will be key in the final 31 games.

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Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks

The Pacific Division is ridiculously tight this season. As of Tuesday, January 28th the Vancouver Canucks lead the division with 60 points, while the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, and Vegas Golden Knights all have 57 points.

For the first time since the 2011-12 season, the Coyotes look to be ready to make a return to the post-season. Up until the week before the All-Star break, the Coyotes were leading the Pacific Division, even with some recent struggles in their offense.

The Coyotes are going to have to rely on luck if they want to reclaim the top of the Pacific Division. Arizona has played two more games than the Oilers and one more game than the Canucks and Flames.

If the Coyotes want to secure a good playoff position they cannot afford to give up any points, even against the lowly California teams. Every point is going to matter in this final stretch, especially the “easy” points.

So far this season the Coyotes have played well against the Pacific Division. This season they are 9-6-3 against teams in the Pacific, but they have been slipping lately. In December/January they have played seven games against Pacific Division teams and they are 4-3 against the teams.

With 31 games left it is impossible to overstate how important the rest of the games will be this season. Eleven of their games will be against Pacific Division teams, with only four games coming against the California teams.

Of the eleven games the Coyotes will play against Pacific Division teams six of them will be on the road with five at home. This would normally be a problem for teams, but the Coyotes have been extremely good on the road this season.

Consistently has been an issue for the Coyotes this season, and one that needs to get addressed. The Coyotes offense has disappeared for games, and the special teams have been hot and cold throughout the season. For stretches the Coyotes are dominant, but then the next game they look like they are barely staying in the game.

Arizona should be getting better soon as Darcy Kuemper appears ready to play soon, although not yet. Even without Kuemper, the Coyotes have a solid defense and a solid 1b in goaltender Antti Raanta.

The Coyotes return to action this week against the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings. Both games should be very winnable, especially if the team is rested after the All-Star break. If you want to see the Coyotes face a Pacific Division rival in-person use our StubHub link to get discounted tickets.

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