If I told you at the beginning of the season that the Arizona Coyotes would be in contention for the playoffs this season, you probably would've laughed your ass off. These are the Coyotes we're talking, the team that is the subject of numerous relocation talks, ranging from Winnipeg to Quebec City to Houston. Yet here they are, sitting in the final wild card spot in the West at 77 points, three ahead of Minnesota.
This is in spite of trading Max Domi in Montreal, who's become a key part in Montreal's playoff push (Domi leads the Canadiens with 62 points and 38 assists). This is also in spite of dealing with numerous injuries throughout the season.
The emergence of Clayton Keller (45 points, 32 assists) has helped the Coyotes. Keller's becoming the Coyotes' version of Connor McDavid, giving his team scoring opportunities and making flashy plays. Killing penalties has been a major key for Arizona's success: their 85.1% penalty kill is second best in the NHL. Arizona has been stingy in not allowing goals, yielding 2.76 goals per game (8th in the NHL).
If Arizona manages to hold on, it'll be fun to see the Coyotes back in the playoffs. This is especially true when Arizona has to move to the Central Division to make way for Seattle in a couple years. Still, the Coyotes can enjoy their time in the sun in the Pacific.
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