If the Phoenix Coyotes eventually fall short of reaching the playoffs or winning their first division title, one reason will be their performances against the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets.
Phoenix seeks to move back into a tie for the Pacific Division lead Tuesday night, but to do that they'll have to beat the suddenly-surging Blue Jackets for the first time this season.
The Coyotes (39-27-13) are currently second in the log-jammed Pacific with 91 points, two behind first-place Los Angeles, one in front of San Jose and two ahead of Dallas. They're also seventh in the Western Conference playoff race, jockeying for the final two spots with the Sharks, Stars, and Colorado (88 points).
Phoenix, San Jose and Dallas all have three games left, and are playing Tuesday while the Kings and Avalanche sit idle with two contests remaining.
The Coyotes would seem to be in line to benefit from facing the Blue Jackets (27-45-7). However, they've lost all three meetings with Columbus this ...