Have the Arizona Coyotes already been eliminated from playoff contention in 2017-18? Mathematically, no. There are an almost infinite number of possibilities for the remainder of the NHL season, some which include the Coyotes winning many games and enough Western Conference contenders losing in turn, with Arizona miraculously qualifying for the playoffs. However, a quick look at their record and the standings out west would imply that yes, the ’Yotes are done for already. But just how true is that assumption?
It’s shockingly accurate, it turns out. In their 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the Coyotes became one of only two teams this season to already hit the midway mark with their 41st game. Halfway through the 2017-18 season, Arizona is 9-27-5 for 23 points. The Coyotes are on pace for only 46 points this season. In 2016-17, the Colorado Avalanche were historically bad, unlike any season this century. It was the sixth worst 82-game record of all time and, taking teams who were recent expansion franchises out of the equation, the ’16-’17 Avs were the worst established team of the modern era. Yet, Colorado finished with 48 points on the year and had 13 wins and 27 points at the midway mark. This year’s Coyotes, it seems, could be the new worst team ever.
So just how close is Arizona to being statistically eliminated on the first of the year? Even if the Coyotes were to win out – going 41-0-0 the rest of the way – they would finish with 105 points on the year. If everyone else in the Western Conference continues at their current pace, Arizona would only finish fifth in the West behind the Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, and Winnipeg Jets. The San Jose Sharks, in this scenario projected to finish sixth with 100 points, have played the fewest games in the NHL and have the most time to turn things around and improve on their record. If the Sharks finished with more than 105 points, then Arizona, having gone undefeated in the entire second half of the season, would still just be a wild card team out of the Pacific Division.
The Season Is Already Over For The Arizona Coyotes
Pro Hockey Rumors | Jan 2