For all the angst, they are definitely in range of their goal 41 games in. Six games over .500. If they continue the same pace and end twelve games over .500 after 82 would be 94 points. I think given the fact that the east has played the west much tougher this year that 94 points will be enough. I think 92 will probably be enough. In reality, though, the team needs to play about 10 games over .500 the rest of the way to avoid Detroit or Vancouver.
But the stories of the year so far clearly are: (1) poor play versus the east, and (2) inability to play 4 on 4. If they were just poor in either of these departments instead of terrible, they'd be much more comfortable.
The stats against the east are really tough to figure. The Coyotes are the worst team in the league against the east. Interestingly, they have been near dominant against the West -- only Detroit and Vancouver are better. I guess the good news is that we don't have many games against the east left and if we end up having to face one in the playoffs, I imagine we'll all be deleriously happy.
Considering there was the stretch of a bunch of games where this team couldn't get a win, i am very happy with where they are. Bryz will be a bit more rested because of the time he missed and we know we have a pretty capable backup in Barbs...Rozsival will add some good D and if the offense can keep it up, this is going to be an exciting finish in the West.
Considering the boys are pretty much on the same pace and they didn't have Bryz for a period of time, i would say thats pretty impressive. The only thing i would like for this team to do better is be more physical.
Record 2009/10 after 45 games = 26-15-4-56
Record 2010/11 after 45 games = 23-13-9-55
One point only? That's interesting. I guess the higher expectations have given a lot of us a critical lens when watching the games. Last year's team took off after the trade deadline... this year's team looks to be turning the corner now, but there is room for improvement, especially on the defensive side of things. We're in the top-third of the league as far as goals scored. We can't expect much more than that. BUT the GAA needs to come down.