At the beginning of last week, the Phoenix Coyotes were sitting in eighth place as they looked to improve their playoff positioning against the Kings, Blues and Blue Jackets. With the latter two games on the road, if the 'Yotes picked up three points on the week, it would be seen as holding sternly onto that eighth position.
After a bludgeoning of the defending champion Los Angeles Kings at home (5-2), the Coyotes were thoroughly outplayed by a St. Louis Blues team (3-0) that, as of late, seems to thrive when they play the Desert Dogs.
The game in Columbus was the game that the Coyotes were hoping to capture to end the week on a positive note and although they played much better against the Blue Jackets on Saturday, they only came away with one point on the night after losing in a shootout to a red-hot Columbus squad (1-0).
Three points on the week, still tied for eighth in the Western Conference on points with San Jose, but sitting in ninth place based on the tiebreaker.
Status quo being upheld, the Coyotes finish their road trip this week with back-to-back games against Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday night at the Staples Center. The 'Yotes then return home for a Thursday night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena.
Nobody knows more so than the Coyotes how important this week is for their playoff hopes. Los Angeles sits in a tie on points for sixth place with Vancouver. Both are only two points ahead of the Coyotes and these games give Phoenix the chance to put some distance between themselves and the bottom rung of the playoff ladder.