The Arizona Coyotes were set to move to the Central Division after this season to make room for the Seattle Kraken in the Pacific Division. But Covid-19 is wreaking havoc on the 2020-21 season so the Coyotes will be hosting some of their future Division rivals a season early, including the Colorado Avalanche.
A few months ago, the Avalanche were responsible for ending the Coyotes' first time in the post-season since their Western Conference Finals run years prior. The Avalanche showed the team and fans what it is going to take to succeed in the playoffs.
The Coyotes were completely out-played for all five games. Arizona lost the final two games 7-1 each, an incredibly demoralizing end to the season.
Key Additions: Devon Toews, Brandon Saad
Key Subtractions: Nikita Zadorov, Anton Lindholm
2019-20 Finish: 2nd in the Central (42-20-8)
Coyotes’ 2019-20 record: 1-0-1 regular season, 1-4 post-season
Sister Site: Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey)
Key Injuries: None
Difference Maker: Talent
Unlike the Ducks, the Avalanche don't have just one difference-maker. The level of skill throughout the Avalanche makes them one of the most dangerous teams for the Coyotes to go up against.
Nathan MacKinnon led the Avalanche last season with 35 goals and 58 assists in just 69 regular-season games. He didn't slow down in the post-season either, and in five games he had ten points including 2 goals and 2 assists in the last game.
If a superstar center wasn't enough, the Avalanche also have the reigning Calder Trophy winner in defenseman Cale Makar. Makar transitioned from the NCAA to the NHL the prior post-season, but his rookie season was something else. In 57 games he had 12 goals and 38 assists and he was a point-per-game as a defenseman in the post-season.
You could honestly keep going. Andre Burakovksy and Gabriel Landeskog both had 20+ goals seasons again, and if the season continued Mikko Rantanen and Nazem Kadri probably would have hit 20.