Coyotes continue to claw their way to playoffs

slider coyotes_avalancheIt’s been a whirlwind week for the Phoenix Coyotes, which saw them lose their captain for three games due to suspension.

It also saw them shoot to near the top of the Western Conference, only to fall near the bottom of the playoff race.

The Coyotes were in ninth place in the Conference coming into Thursday night’s game against the Avalanche, which they won 3-2, but nearly squandered after going up 3-0. 

They were in first place in the Pacific Division, and third in the conference following the win, but no more than 15-20 minutes later, they dropped out of both spots thanks to the Kings’ 1-0 shootout victory over the Blues.

Forward Raffi Torres, who had a goal and an assist in the win over Colorado, knows this trend of hopping in the standings is far from over.

“That’s the NHL for you,” Torres said. “Every team is good out there and they are going to have the opportunity to jump in the standings.”

The team will be without right winger Shane Doan for two more games, as he’s serving his three game suspension for the elbow he served Stars forward Jamie Benn on Tuesday night in Dallas.

The players picked up the slack for the absent Doan, but for forward Kyle Chipchura, it’s always better to have No. 19 on the ice instead of off.

“We are a way better team with Doaner in there,” Chipchura said. “I think it’s the kind of situation where everyone has to step up the three games and do what we can.”

Doan will sit out Saturday night’s game in San Jose and Sunday night’s home game against the Blues.

The road to a possible division title and high playoff seed won’t come easy for the Coyotes, but then again, that’s probably how they prefer it anyway.

All in a season huh?