Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/15/13
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. There are a host of things the Phoenix Coyotes could do over the next two weeks as they chase a far-flung playoff dream. They could root for the right teams to win out-of-town games. They could say silent prayers. They could deliver impassioned speeches before every game. The problem: None of those methods will work. The only ironclad tactic the Coyotes have at their disposal is both simple in concept and difficult in application. If we win every game, Im sure that were in, so I guess that were still in control, but its going to be tough, captain Shane Doan said. The walls are getting tighter and tighter. If we could find a way to get three points in a game, that would be nice, but only two at a time, I guess. The Coyotes probably dont need to go 7-0 to make the playoffs, but they will likely have to secure 12 of a possible 14 points down the stretch -- whether that comes in a 6-1 finish or a 5-0-2 finish -- to reach the 55 points coach Dave Tippett believes it will take to make the postseason. Everyone on this team understands how monumental that task will be with a three-game road trip upcoming against St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit after Mondays home game against San Jose. Falter once in these next four games and the Coyotes will be riding the razors edge. Lose three points and the season is probably over given the Coyotes poor standing in tiebreakers with the Red Wings and Stars. Thats the bad news, but in that dire forecast, Tippett also sees a positive. As a player or a coach, you look at these opportunities and theyre the best parts of the game because theyre the most intense, Tippett said. They bring out the best of players, and hopefully that bodes well for our team. Whether history is a guide or just a talking point remains to be seen, but the Coyotes do have a recent parallel to draw upon. Last season, they won five consecutive games down the stretch to clinch their first Pacific Division title and the third seed in the Western Conference. Before that streak, they sat in ninth place. Every time you go through a playoff run or work to get into the playoffs, every time a player goes through that, they start to build that memory bank, Tippett said. We have a lot of players on this team that went through it last year, so those memories are vivid. You know what you have to do. You know how hard you have to play and the results you have to get. Youve just got to take care of your own business. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
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