The Arizona Coyotes haven’t made the postseason since the 2011-12 season. Do they have what it takes to end their playoff drought?
It has been a long seven years without the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Arizona Coyotes. They came remarkably close to making the postseason in 2018-19, but as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
The Coyotes came within four points of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season despite having numerous injuries. Most notably, starting goaltender Antti Raanta had his season cut short by injuries.
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Last season, the Coyotes were one of the worst offensive teams in the NHL. Desperate to add some talent, the Yotes went out and traded for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel. This season means a lot for the Coyotes. They’ve been out of the postseason for far too long. The Kessel trade shows they’re fed up with it.
With good health, the Coyotes should be serious postseason contenders. It’s worth noting no team in the Pacific Division, except maybe the Vancouver Canucks, improved this summer as much as the Coyotes. They were four points out of the postseason a year ago. Adding Kessel should put them in the discussion for a playoff spot.
Added: Phil Kessel, Dane Birks, Carl Soderberg, Aaron Ness, Beau Bennett
Re-signed: Lawson Crouse, Ilya Lyubushkin
Lost: Alex Galchenyuk, Richard Panik, Nick Cousins, Kevin Connauton, Josh Archibald, Calvin Pickard, Mario Kempe, Pierre-Oliver Joseph
Kessel should give the Coyotes a dynamic offensive talent. He’ll especially be a huge help on the power-play, which ranked towards the bottom of the league last season. Soderberg should give them more center depth down the middle.
Losing Galchenyuk hurts, but of course, they gained Kessel by doing it. Panik was an underrated middle-six forward for the Coyotes, so losing him could hurt.