2013 Season Preview – Phoenix Coyotes


Last Season – The Coyotes had one of the best seasons in franchise history, winning the Pacific Division with a 42-27-13 record.  They went on an extended playoff run, going through Chicago and Nashville before falling to the eventual Cup Champs, the LA Kings.

Saying GoodbyeAdrian Aucoin, Daymond Langkow, Ray Whitney, Taylor Pyatt, Michal Roszival

Saying HelloSteve Sullivan, Nick Johnson, David Moss, Zbynek Michalek

Ready to Step InDavid Rundblad had a rocky first pro season, but with some seasoning in the minors under his belt, could show why he was considered an elite prospect as recent as last year in Ottawa.

Look For A Bounce-back Season From – Not only did Martin Hanzal miss almost 20 games, when he was in the lineup he didn’t produce like the first line centre he was expected to be.  He will be counted upon to score at a 70 point pace (over a full season) at minimum.

Almost no team relies on its goalie more than the Coyotes do on Smith. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hardware HopefulsMike Smith, Vezina

Upside – Smith kept the Coyotes in many games last season, as the Coyotes team appeared to get more than the sum of the parts.

Downside – While they won the division, they were still only 7 points clear of missing the playoffs entirely.  Any slip up or a Smith stumble will result in the Coyotes missing the chance to repeat as conference finalists or even farther.

2013 Prognosis – Phoenix caught lightning in a bottle last season.  Don’t expect the same this year, as they won’t be sneaking up on anybody.  The Kings should win the division, and the other 4 teams will be in tough to even make the playoffs.