With the win, the Coyotes claimed the second wild-card spot in the West, two points up on the Stars, who do, however, have two games in hand.
Phoenix’s remaining schedule is a bit of a mixed bag, but you may want to circle its final game, on Apr. 13 at home to Dallas.
At this point, with Vancouver all but eliminated from postseason contention, it looks like a three-team race between the Coyotes, Stars and Wild for the two wild-card spots. (Phoenix hosts Minnesota on Mar. 29, by the way.)
Making the playoffs is important for any franchise, but it may be even more important for a Coyotes club that’s still trying to repair the damage its long-running ownership saga did to the NHL brand in the Phoenix-area sports market.
“I’d say not just being in the playoffs, we want to go to the last game of the playoffs,” chairman George Gosbee told azcentral sports recently. “We want to establish a winning culture. So, fundamentally, absolutely the playoffs are important. But winning the Stanley Cup is important, too. So we really want to instil – we don’t want to instil a country club atmosphere in Phoenix. We want to instil a winning organization atmosphere, and so making the playoffs is paramount to our success as an organization.”