The Phoenix Coyotes’ ill-timed five-game losing streak could hold them out of the playoffs if they don’t gain ground on the Dallas Stars, who sit two points above them in the Western Conference standings.
Twelve of the team’s last 16 games have been decided by one goal or less, including their most recent 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It goes without saying that every point matters for the Coyotes’ playoff lives.
The final playoff standings may come down to team’s last season game when Phoenix and Dallas face off at Jobing.com Arena on April 13.
If the Coyotes do miss the playoffs, alterations to the roster should be expected, according to the Coyotes pre- and post-game host Luke Lapinski.
“I think we can definitely expect changes. I don’t know necessarily how massive they will be, just depending on who is available in the free agent market or who they can swing a deal with,” Lapinski told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Historically, the ‘Yotes haven’t had offensive fire power, and could try to change that in the offseason. Since 1999, no player on the team has been in the league’s top ten in points.
“I think that it is clear that what has kind have let them down in tough parts of the season has just been a lack of offense you can lean on,” Lapinski said. “That doesn’t mean you have to bring in 12 new forwards. If you can bring in one really good one or two very solid top-six guys, that makes everybody else better. To me, that’s probably something that has echoed throughout the organization, that’s the key this offseason.”
As for their future, the team is looking to get some of their young draft picks involved on the ice next year if changes to the lineup are to come.
“Hopefully it changes this summer,” Lapinski said. “I know that Max Domi is the guy that they are looking at, somebody that could maybe fix that going forward, whether he is ready next year or not. He’s been great in juniors this year.”
Domi was picked 12th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft and has tallied 93 points (34 goals, 59 assists) this season in the Ontario Hockey League — good for eighth most in the league.