GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes labored through the first half of the season, slogging through a rash of injuries, a brutal schedule and inconsistency.
Once the calendar flipped to February, the Coyotes pulled together, got back to their defense-minded approach and shot up the standings.
At this point, it shouldn't be much of a surprise. In both of the previous two seasons, the Coyotes put together winning streaks of at least five games after the All-Star break, propelling them toward a playoff berth despite being run by the NHL.
They've done it again without an owner this season, earning at least a point in eight straight games to pull within two points of San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.
So what is it about February that puts a charge into the Coyotes? Even they aren't sure.
"I don't know what it is," Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata said on Monday. "It seems like every year, we've needed a stretch like that. In this conference, you need stretches like that to ...