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Coyotes coach Dave Tippett: Team ‘can't rely on coming back'

The Phoenix Coyotes have developed a knack for the comeback this season and that's not exactly a good thing according to their coach.

The Coyotes have trailed in nine of their 14 wins this season, displaying an on-ice manifestation of the organization's official 2013-14 slogan: "Hungrier Than Ever."

While valiant, Dave Tippett says the team's recipe for success isn't a sustainable one.

"To try to come back in a game was almost inconceivable (a decade ago)," Tippett told The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta.

"Now, you can come back, but it's not a good formula," he went on.

"If you think you're going to be a good team for a long time, you can't rely on coming back."

Tippett's team has struggled early in games for much of the season. They have, at times, looked slow out of the gate, as evidenced by their inflated number of comeback wins. And trailing to start a game has generally been a poor omen for the team. The Coyotes have won just a third of the games which they have trailed first in thus far while three of their division rivals -- the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings -- boast wins in more than half of the games in which they see a deficit first.

Leading after the first period, however, is a different story for Tippett's club. Like just one other team in the Western Conference, the Coyotes are undefeated when they go to the first intermission with a lead. But such games have seemingly been few and far between. Only one other team in the West has less first period goals than the Coyotes, who have 15 such scores.

They're definitely a slow-starting team.

The Coyotes sre second only to the Chicago Blackhawks among NHL teams in third period goals, having logged 28 thus far.

"The ability to start with a hard push and capitalize on chances is a big factor in hockey and I think we've shown that with our team. If we can get a lead, it's a big step in the right direction for us."

All in all, Tippett said the team is on the right track, despite losing each of its last three games and four of its last five.

"There's a lot of parts of our game that we like, but we're making those one or two critical errors at the wrong time," he said.

Early-game performance is presumably not one of those parts, though writing the comeback propensity off altogether isn't something Tippett will do.

"I like the way our guys hang around there and push back," he said.

"But ideally you're not in that situation."

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