Phoenix Coyotes Playoff Preview: Bring On the Whiteout

Cameron PaulCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2010

With the Boston Bruins 5-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon, the Phoenix Coyotes clinched their first playoff spot since the 2001-02 season.


That same day the Coyotes defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 to reach the 100 point plateau on the season.


Most hockey experts thought this team had never had a chance at making the playoffs, never mind actually getting home ice advantage in the first round.


Although the Coyotes want to finish the regular season strong, there is no denying the fact that their eyes are on the playoffs.


Now that we know that they are in the playoffs, the question is who will they square off against in the first round?


If the season was to end right now, the Coyotes would have a first round match up against the Nashville Predators, a team that is very much like the Coyotes.


They don't have a star player but they have a coach and a system that works for them.


Right behind the Predators in the Western Conference standings are the red hot Detroit Red Wings.


The Wings would be a scary first round opponent for the Coyotes.


They have two great forwards in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk as well as the always great Nicklas Lidstrom.


The only question regarding the Red Wings is their goaltending.


Although Jimmy Howard has played great for Detroit this season, he has no playoff experience.


The Wings do have Chris Osgood if Howard fails, as he has played well in the last couple of playoffs for the Wings.


Another possible opponent for the Coyotes is their Pacific division rivals in the L.A Kings.


The Kings have been only mediocre since the Olympic break but it would still be a close series if the Coyotes and the Kings were to face off against each other.


The Coyotes would most likely have to win their division to have a chance at playing the Colorado Avalanche.


Like the Kings, the Avalanche have not played well since the Olympic break.


It would be a great series between the Coyotes and the Avalanche, especially since both teams made the playoffs in part because of excellent goaltending.


Another good story line would be Peter Mueller and Wojtek Wolski playing against their former teams.


The Calgary Flames are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, they are four points behind the eighth place Avalanche.


They are going to need to win most, if not all of their remaining six games of the regular season, if they want a shot of clinching a playoff spot.


If the Flames do make the playoffs they should not be over looked. They have a great goaltender in Mikka Kiprusoff and a superstar player in Jarome Iginla.


No matter what the Coyotes do in the playoffs, there is no taking away what the Coyotes have been able to accomplish this season.


Hopefully this is only the beginning of many successful seasons to come.