Arizona Coyotes appear in top 10 of NBC Sports’ NHL power rankings
The Arizona Coyotes’ heightened expectations this season have materialized into a good start to the year.
For that reason, the Coyotes appeared as the sixth-hottest team in the NHL on NBC Sports’ power rankings on Tuesday, as put together by Adam Gretz.
It should be noted that the list was put together before the Coyotes’ lost at home on Wednesday night to the Montreal Canadiens. Here’s what Gretz wrote:
After losing their first two games (and only scoring one goal) the Coyotes are 6-1-1 in their last eight and are averaging more than four goals per game.
Ahead of the Coyotes were the Bruins, Avalanche, Capitals and Islanders, in that order one through five. The Coyotes fell to the Islanders on their most recent East Coast road trip but beat Buffalo at their place. That was the first time this season the Sabres lost at home.
The Avalanche are a strong team but just lost Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog — two of their most important players — to injury for the time being.
Three of the Coyotes’ Pacific Division rivals — the Oilers, Canucks and Knights — were ranked 10th, 11th and 13th, repsectively.
Entering Thursday, the Coyotes had allowed the second-fewest goals per game in the NHL, bested only by the Bruins. Neither their power play or PK ranked among the top 10 in the league, and their point percentage ranks 11th in the league.
If the season ended Thursday morning, the Coyotes would hold the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with Edmonton, Vancouver and Vegas getting the divisional spots in the Pacific and Anaheim getting the first Wild Card.