Phoenix Coyotes Hope To Gain Ground with Extensive Home Stand

January 13th, 2011 by Mark Brown Leave a reply »
Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett is convinced there's little separation between Western Conference teams.

In fact, the Jack Adams coach of the year from last season said, "It will be a dog fight to get in the playoffs."

The quest for the precious eight conference playoff spots, he is assured, will not likely be decided until the final hours of the season.

He may be right, but the coming weeks could represent a key barometer to the eventual value of the Coyotes' season. Beginning with its 5-1 victory over Toronto Thursday night before 11,205 at Arena, Phoenix had six of its next seven games at home and an opportunity to create some breathing space.

Prior to the Leafs games on Jan. 13, the Coyotes were sixth in conference standings. Their 51 points were tied with the defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago Blackhawks, but one point behind Nashville and Anaheim.

The Detroit Red Wings' 62 points topped all teams.

"This stretch is huge for us," said defenseman Keith Yandle, who contributed three points with a one goal and two assists. "If can pull out some wins, it will a good run for us."

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