Arizona Coyotes Playoffs Hopes Could Still be Alive When Play Resumes

Arizona Coyotes playoffs hopes

When the return to regular NHL games resumes, will it go directly to the playoffs? There’s nothing concrete determined yet as the league is still analyzing the best steps going forward. While suspending play was the right thing to do, many fans are curious as to how things will progress when the all-clear is announced and regular play can commence. The Arizona Coyotes fans are no different. They’d like to know what will happen as far as making the playoffs.

Arizona Coyotes Playoffs Hopes Still Relevant

It could happen. Many hockey experts like Elliotte Friedman are proposing a playoff format when play resumes.

Before the suspension happened, the Arizona Coyotes were in 11th place in the tight Western Conference playoff race. If Friedman’s suggestion comes to fruition, the Desert Dogs would squeeze into the postseason for the first time since 2012. As most teams can confirm, getting to the playoffs is the battle. Once a team is included in the group of teams playing in the postseason, anything can happen.

Once things get back to normal, hockey hungry fans will be very anxious to see hockey again. The time off will be advantageous for teams who have players needing healing time to recover from injuries. What isn’t clear yet with players being instructed not to practice, is will players be more susceptible to injuries? If the time off exceeds two weeks, will players need a mini-training camp of a couple of days to get back into shape and get their skating legs back?

Playoff Format Still Unclear

The length of the playoff series could change depending on how many teams are allowed in the playoffs. Shorter series may be in order instead of seven-games series. The NHL has some decisions to make to arrange the playoff format if the league goes directly to the playoffs negating any more regular-season games.

It seems clear that with the suspension of play the NHL wants to be as fair as possible in determining the playoff format including how many teams will qualify. With the lost revenue the team owners will incur, a larger field of teams participating in the playoffs can increase their profit. Players will still be paid but the amount of money in the player’s escrow account may take a hit. So will the proposed salary cap increase, which had been predicted to go up to at least $84 million before the recent events.

Having a White-out in the Valley of the Sun Would be Awesome

It’s been a while, and at this point, certainly, most fans don’t care how they get in the playoffs, they just want it to happen. And, who knows if they can get and show fans what this team is made of, that would be great for next season. They don’t even need to be that successful, they just need to get the opportunity to be involved.

The time off will help with the injuries to both Conor Garland and Jakob Chychrun who was close to returning before the season got suspended. They were scheduled to play five straight home games and now that may not happen depending on what the NHL decides going forward.

Most every team may welcome the time off. The downside of it would be without being able to practice, the players may be a bit rusty, especially if it’s longer than a two-week layoff. It will take some adjustments to get everyone back on the same page.

Playoffs Were a Longshot

The Arizona Coyotes were going to be a long-shot to be involved in the playoffs with just 12 games remaining and only capturing 74 points. They came off losing two straight games to the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets on the road. Very disappointing. Now, they may get a rebirth of sorts to concentrate on winning important games in a playoff atmosphere. It’s what the players work so hard for all year.

If the NHL decides otherwise, then this season will go down as a disappointment. This team had injury issues mostly with their starting goalie Darcy Kuemper missing a possible 41 games due to a lower-body injury. That especially hurt the Coyotes since they are a team built on goaltending and defence. If they can get their offence going and get to the playoffs we may see what this team is made of.

Arizona Coyotes Playoff Hopes Are in Question

Of course, the NHL may decide to just take the standings as of March 12th when the suspension of play took place. While that would be disappointing, the money matters may encourage the league to include more teams. It brings about a bigger pot of money for all to share. If the Coyotes are lucky enough to be included, playoff fever has got to take place here in Arizona. Fans need to come out and support this team.

Who knows even when things seem bleak, there could be a silver lining. The Coyotes need that silver lining. Let’s see if they get it.

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