Arizona Coyotes: Is a climb up possible with bodies back in the lineup?
Michael Grabner is one of the key players ready to make a comeback to the Coyotes lineup (Photo: NHL.com)

Arizona Coyotes: Is a climb up possible with bodies back in the lineup?

After playing most of the season with multiple players on the injured reserve, a healthy squad can help the Coyotes maintain their playoffs hunt.

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Flávio Fernandes

Christian Dvorak, Michael Grabner, Brad Richardson are all in line for a comeback

The Arizona Coyotes played a considerable percentage of the season missing very important players in the lineup due to a series of injuries not to be seen on any other team in the NHL. During all that, the team managed to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

In all areas of the ice, during pre-season, early season action to also when the team was having it's best moments, the team saw names like Antti Raanta, Nick Schmaltz and Kyle Capobianco are all out for the season and Jason Demers is still a long way to a comeback.

But good news has been popping up from the training facility as Christian Dvorak might be cleared to play after a long lay off due to an injury in training camp. The centerman who signed an extension in the offseason could add a lot of depth to the team in which he's clearly the number one choice. They are especially undermanned at center ice.

Players that the fans had a real hype on with a lot of shorthanded goals during the beginning of the season, Michael Grabner and Brad Richardson might be on their way back to the lineup together providing a boost in experience and also to the team's famous penalty kill unit. 

The recent losing streak that ended last Saturday, cost the team a few places in the race and they are now six points behind the last wild-card team in the Minnesota Wild but with a game in hand. While the math is friendly as the season goes on, it's clear they don't control their own fortunes anymore. 

Next games against the Vegas Golden Knights, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs this upcoming week are key games to win as well a last Canada road trip to play the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames all division rivals.

With no margin for error, the players who are their way back must have a huge impact. This also will put Rick Tocchet and GM John Chayka in a tough spot to make critical decisions as players who took advantage of the injuries like Mario Kempe might be on their way out of the lineup.

Conor Garland who earned his place on the roster during this stretch is likely to remain with the team and also with the trade deadline approaching many talks involving players like Richard Panik who is a UFA at the end of the season are still up in the air.

A minor trade that saw a couple Tucson Roadrunners prospects go to the Nashville Predators in return for Emil Pettersson (Elias Petterson's older brother) might be a sign that more deals are about to come to the team that cleared one more NHL contract.

If the team will be able to make the dream climb up in the standings is yet to be seen but for now, every game for the Coyotes has to be a playoff battle if they want to have a chance. 

Will Dvorak, Grabner, and Richardson have what it takes to help the team to get back in the race for a playoff spot? Comment in the section below!

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