2013-14 Season Preview – Phoenix Coyotes

LAST SEASON

Regular Season: The Coyotes had a tough season, and aside from Keith Yandle didn’t get much in terms of standout performances.  They missed the playoffs by 4 points, finishing 10th in the Western Conference.

Playoffs:  They missed the playoffs after 3 straight seasons where they made the post-season.

 

April 27, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) reacts after scoring his third goal of the game against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

CHANGES

Out: F Boyd Gordon, G Jason LaBarbera

In: G Thomas Greiss

Ready To Make The Jump:  D David Rundblad

 

BIG 3 FACTORS

1.  Staying Put – The ownership saga that lasted 4 seasons is finally over and the Coyotes have new ownership that is committed to keeping the team in Phoenix (for at least 5 years).  The uncertainty is gone and the whole organization can focus on the ice.

2.  Rundblad For Real:  It is time for former first round pick and well travelled (St. Louis, Ottawa, Phoenix) prospect Rundblad to finally assume a full time role, otherwise he will earn the “bust” label.  In two seasons in North America he has played 38 NHL games, and is now on his second contract, so its time to put up.

3.  Continuity:  The Coyotes will ice pretty much the same roster that they played with last season, with very little turnover.  For a non-playoff roster, that might cause some concern about the ability of the team to rejoin the postseason fray.

 

PROGNOSIS:  It is a tall task for Phoenix to get back to the playoffs.  In the new-look Pacific Division, they will in tough against the likes of the Kings, Sharks, Canucks, Ducks as well as the up and coming Oilers. Shane Doan isn’t getting any younger, and the rest of the roster is filled with middle level talent.

PREDICTION:  6th in the Pacific Division.

 

We will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted Finish Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
1 Sept 9 Sept 8 Sept 7 Sept 6
2 Sept 5 Sept 4 Sept 3 Sept 2
3 Sept 1 Aug 31 Aug 30 Aug 29
4 Aug 28 Aug 27 Aug 26 Aug 25
5 Aug 24 Aug 23 Aug 22 Aug 21
6 Aug 20 Aug 19 Aug 18 Coyotes
7 Sabres Blue Jackets Stars Flames
8 Panthers Devils

Topics: 2013-14 Season Preview, David Rundblad, Phoenix Coyotes, Shane Doan

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