After a very important win on Tuesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes are in position to start making a run beginning with Thursday’s game at home against the Minnesota Wild. Phoenix and Minnesota have basically the same record and same number of points so this becomes a game where it could be a tiebreaker at season’s end if the two teams are tied for a playoff berth.
Phoenix has gotten big-time production in recent games from Mikkel Boedker with two goals and three assists over the last five games. Boedker is now leading the team in points with 13 and with Phoenix not being a high-scoring team, Boedker’s production is basically holding the team up. There will be others who point at the improved play by Mike Smith in net. Smith has played in every game during the month of February and the Coyotes are 7-3-2 over that stretch.
Minnesota has underachieved all season long and the Coyotes need to take advantage of that here before the Wild finally put all the pieces together which is going to be sooner than later. If Boedker can score at least a goal in this one and Smith holds Minnesota under two goals, Phoenix should be able to get a victory. The Coyotes run into an odd quirk in their schedule after this game though with three straight games against the Anaheim Ducks, who have been close to unbeatable this season. That only makes this game even more important for Phoenix. Phoenix is presently on the outside looking in for the playoffs and really needs this victory to improve their chances in the coming months.