Arizona Coyotes' Losing Trend Must End To Stay In Playoff Hunt

It doesn't seem fair that the Arizona Coyotes lost their last game to the Vancouver Canucks on a lucky, weird shot which bounced off of two Coyotes' players before it found its way past Louis Domingue. NHL hockey can include luck, and it just hasn't found its way to the Arizona Coyotes' end of the ice as of late. 

Throw in the luck factor again when a shot by Klas Dahlback from near the blue-line went in the net, but didn't count when the Canucks successfully challenged the play being off-side. 

Louis Domingue robbed Henrik Sedin as he stretched across the crease to take away a sure goal. 

Ryan Miller continued his dominance of the Coyotes by winning his ninth out of ten games against them. He was very active, as the Desert Dogs pounded 33 shots at him. He also can thank his defenseman Alex Biega for saving a sure goal off the stick of Kyle Chipchura. Miller was way out of position, but Biega was able to stop Chipchura's back-hand shot from entering the net. 

Coyotes' Head Coach Dave Tippett commented after the game:

"They are tight games right now and you can't afford mistakes. We are letting points slip away. We know exactly what we have to do and the points we have to gain. It hasn't been very fruitful of late."

The only bright spot was that the defense stepped up and did not give up five or six goals, as they have in the past four games. This is not the time of year to start playing poorly defensively, and for that matter, offensively.

With just 54 points, the Arizona Coyotes are fading fast in the tight Pacific Division. They are now down to fifth place with the Calgary Flames just one point behind them. The two Pacific Division rivals face each other tonight at Gila River Arena in what could be a make or break game for both teams' playoff aspirations.

Yet, even with just earning one point in the last five games, they are not but four points out of a wild-card slot to participate in the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Arizona has just 13 out of their last 29 games at home and still has one five game road trip at the end of this month, and two four game road trips, one each in the next two months. That doesn't bode well when you look at how their competition has done compared to the Coyotes. The Yotes are 2-7-1 in their 10 games for a mere five points. Whereas, their division opponents have done much better. The Anaheim Ducks has rallied for 15 points. The San Jose Sharks have gained 13 points. The Vancouver Canucks have totaled 12 points. Even the Calgary Flames have added 10 points. 

A few wins during this current five game skid could have made the difference whether the Coyotes are in the thick of the playoff race or just pretenders.

If you know GM Don Maloney and Head Coach Dave Tippett, you can bet they are searching for answers. The trade deadline is approaching swiftly, and if the team needs to make some wholesale changes by trading for better players, they need to get on it.

Arizona may not survive another white-outless (is that a word?) season, and the fans may just forget about the team even more than they have in the past. 

Wins bring hockey fans out to the rink. It's time the Arizona Coyotes put out the effort required to win hockey games. It's just that simple.

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