The Stars were better for the first two periods, and the Coyotes attempted to come back in the third with some better play. Phoenix looked tired and unable to solve Kari Lehtonen, who was aggressive all night and was able to really see the puck well.
After last night’s game and Dallas’ play of late, many began to see the possibility that the Stars could be a contender to take the final postseason spot. Both the Stars and the Coyotes currently sit at 64 points, however, I still think that Phoenix has the better chance to qualify for the playoffs.
The Stars are playing well as of late, but there were times this season when they have looked awful. In general, teams that bounce up and down have an issue retaining playoff spots (even if they are the eighth seed). Also, though they have been the victim of some injury problems, they are a young team that may not quite know what it takes to contribute down the stretch during a playoff run.
The Coyotes, on the other hand, are a stable organization with an excellent coach in Dave Tippett. Tippett knows a lot of the players that are there now, and players seem to stick in Phoenix, even returning after they originally left town.
I think that the Coyotes have the fight that it takes to make things happen after the Olympic break. I look forward to seeing them continue to work hard and play their system, fighting for a first round win over a higher seeded opponent.