Arizona Coyotes

Wild Card Chase is on!

The prize every NHL players covets - The Stanley Cup (Photo: Bill Smith/Getty Images)
Wild Card Chase is on!
Ryan Aziminia

Six weeks remain in the NHL’s regular season and the Wild Card chase is heating up. All teams here must be within four points of the Wild Card leader and not in the top three in the division to be included in the weekly review.

Gone, and soon to be forgotten – The Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver had a very favorable schedule with three home games and promptly lost them all. They lost them in regulation. They even lost to the Maple Leafs. Time to take a week, sell off any useful parts and load up the tank, as they are only six points from leading the Auston Matthews chase.

NHL Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche – 60 Games Played, 64 Points

The week that was:

The Avalanche have played the most games of all the contenders so they need to keep winning, and winning is what they did. Two wins out of three games have the Avalanche tied for the first Wild Card spot.  However, they lost points to both Arizona and Minnesota as they catch up in games played.  The impact and leadership of Jarome Iginla is nothing short of remarkable.

The Coming Week:

The Av’s have an opportunity to bank some points this week. A road match against Edmonton and a chance to bury the Canucks in Vancouver for good highlights a week that closes with a big home game versus the Sharks.

NHL PredatorsNashville Predators – 58 Games Played, 64 Points

The week that was:

The Predators had a successful, yet ulcer-inducing week. They went 2-0-1 amid a mini goalie controversy. It is known Pekka Rinne has not had the year he has wanted. Carter Hutton was given a few starts and played the best hockey of his career. Faced with a little adversity and doubt, Rinne answered in a big way pitching a shutout against the Bruins Thursday night. Hutton’s work in his last few starts should not be forgotten if the Predators make the playoffs. Keeping Rinne fresh will be key down the stretch. And can the Preds just pass on the 3v3 and move right to a shootout?

The Coming Week:

Another huge week for Nashville. An opportunity to bank points with a four game week. The Preds close out a homestand versus the Kings on Saturday in a matchup that could be a playoff preview. After that, the Preds hit the road and go north of the border for two Eastern Conference matchups against the struggling Canadiens and the (old friend alert!) Nick Spaling-led Leafs before closing with a huge road game against Chicago.

NHL Wild

Minnesota Wild – 58 Games Played, 62 Points

The week that was:

Pretty boring week for the Wild. On the verge of becoming sellers at the trade deadline, the Wild laid a big fat egg at home, fired their coach, and promptly tore through western Canada on the way to a six point week that has them in the middle of the Wild Card chase.

The Coming week:

The Wild  need to keep winning and they have a tough week ahead. They return home with their new coach and play host to the Blackhawks in the year’s first Stadium Series game. Another home game versus the Islanders precedes a roadie that takes them through fellow Wild Card chaser Philadelphia and a matchup with the red hot Capitals in Washington.

NHL Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes – 57 Games Played, 60 Points

The week that was:

We said in the space last week that the Coyotes needed at minimum four points and they responded with six to remain in the hunt. They also came away with one of the better stories of the season when Anders Lindback went down with an injury.

The Coming week:

A tough week awaits the Coyotes. A home game against the Blues precedes a roadtrip that takes them to Washington and through the state of Florida. This week will determine their trade deadline status.

 

Another make or break week in the west as we inch closer to first, the trade deadline and then, the march to the playoffs.

 

Arizona Coyotes
Ryan Aziminia

Sports fan punching bag. As a Royals fan, I am punching back for once.

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