Phoenix Coyotes' Keys for Sneaking into the Playoffs

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Phoenix Coyotes' Keys for Sneaking into the Playoffs
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Coyotes captain Shane Doan looks to lead a late season charge into the NHL Playoffs

Earlier this week, I said that the franchise was sending the wrong message in trading three "core" components at the trading deadline in Matthew Lombardi, Raffi Torres and Steve Sullivan. If the play of the team over the last two games against Colorado and Detroit is any indication as to how this team will play the rest of the season, I will happily eat some large chunks of crow.

Maybe the message was that lack of production will not be tolerated and that new faces who had been playing well in the minors were going to get their chance, albeit under some very difficult circumstances.

Two games after the trade deadline, the Coyotes are two points out of the playoffs after winning their third game in a row. Their performances this week have been nothing short of amazing, and the call-ups are proving that management was right to have faith in their abilities.

I know forgiveness from readers does not come easy, but the Coyotes still have 10 games left to see if this plan will ultimately lead them back into the playoffs. With the effort that they have put in this week, it restores hope that the playoffs are still a possibility.

Here are the four keys I see for the Coyotes to burst through the back door and into the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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