For the first time since 2009, the Phoenix Coyotes will not be participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This, coming after a season in which they reached the Western Conference Final, is nothing but disappointing.
The Coyotes, who are 20-18-8 with 48 points, have two games left in their season, but the damage done by a seven-game winless streak in mid-March was ultimately too much to overcome in this lockout-shortened season.
“The inconsistency, not so much in how we played, but the inconsistency in scoring between home and road was a major factor,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Thursday. “Our road record wasn’t very good, but we lost seven games in overtime on the road — five of them in a shootout — so we were close.
“Our scoring, right throughout our group, home versus road, was a drastic difference.”
The Coyotes averaged 2.96 goals per game at Jobing.com Arena compared to just 1.91 goals away from it, so the coach is not kidding. The issues led to the Desert Dogs to having a 6-10-7 record away from home. Fourteen other NHL teams have sub-.500 road marks, so it is not as if the Desert Dogs are alone here.
But be that as it may, the struggles cost the Coyotes dearly.
“If we could have just got that road record to where it has been the last few years, where you’re .500 on the road and play well at home, you’ve got a playoff spot.”