The Coyotes have beaten the Coyotes in regulation six times since the start of the 2015-16 season, including the last two by a combined score of 6-1.
Can they get back on track?
Here are three reasons they should be on the brink.1.
They’ve won more than any other team in franchise history.
It’s not easy to pick a number to crown as the best franchise in NHL history, but the Coyotes have been on top of the league in scoring with an average of 1.23 goals per game since they took over the league with the 2015 expansion draft.
Their dominance over the last seven seasons has been undeniable, and that’s why they have been able to keep winning and keep winning.
They’ve won the Presidents’ Trophy seven times.
They have won the Hart Trophy five times.
And they have a combined 54 points in the past 15 seasons, a total that is second only to the New York Rangers.2.
They’re a strong team in the offensive zone.
The Coyotes are the league’s second-best team in offensive zone goals-for percentage (71.3%), which ranks them fourth in the league behind only the Washington Capitals.
They lead the league by a large margin in goals-against average (2.03), second only only to San Jose (2,822).
They rank third in the NHL in shots per game (3.12), fourth in power play goals-per-game (2;2.28) and sixth in shorthanded goals-on-zone goals (0.88).3.
They can get things done.
The best teams in the League have an ability to find their scoring rhythm.
The Coyotes can do that, too.
In fact, they’re third in NHL scoring with a 2.38 goals-in-game average since the beginning of the season.
They were sixth in the same category in 2016-17, but that was when they were trying to find a rhythm after missing the playoffs the previous season.
It’s a good thing they’re playing in the Western Conference this season, as they’ve been able in the last four games to push the pace of play and force overtime.
That should help them keep scoring goals.4.
They play in a good spot on the ice.
Since the start in 2000-01, the Coyotes are fourth in goals against average (3:33) and are fifth in the power play (5.12) and seventh in goals per contest (2:20).
The Coyotes were first in both categories in 2016 and have gone to the Stanley Cup Final in each of the last three seasons.
It would be a stretch to say they have anything left to prove, but they’re a team that will play to win, and they should keep their season going as long as they can.5.
They need to stay healthy.
There’s no denying that the Coyotes were among the league leaders in the second half of the regular season, but injuries have been a factor in their struggles.
Last year, defenseman Mattias Ekholm was suspended for six games for a check to the head of Arizona goalie Michael Frolik, while forward Ryan O’Reilly was out with an upper-body injury.
The team has a slew of other injured players that have yet to return.
If they continue to struggle, the franchise will likely be without a healthy center for much of the rest of the playoffs.
The team’s success will depend on its young players.
Injuries have limited forward Jakob Silfverberg to just 19 games in the regular campaign.
He is currently fifth in scoring behind Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos, Paul Stastny and Cody Hodgson.
He’s also one of the most talented players in the entire NHL, and if he can get back to where he was, the team could have a great chance at winning the Stanley Cups again.
If they can stay healthy, they should have a very good chance at making the Stanley Playoffs.
If not, they could end up in the first round.
Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter: @cmorgan_craig