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New York Islanders vs. Arizona Coyotes: They’re all must-wins [Game #33]

There are games they cannot afford to lose, and this is totally one of them.

NHL: New York Islanders at Arizona Coyotes
Before the Postponement Era
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders enter a game with a .500 points percentage. How novel!

They’re facing an Arizona Coyotes team that’s carrying a .326 points percentage. What could go wrong?

If the Islanders are in last place after 32 games, the Coyotes are in the lastiest of lasty places in the whole wide last world. But of course the desert dogs are coming in “hot” (by their 2021-22 standards), having beaten the Devils in Newark after dumping the equally hapless Canadiens in Montreal.

Don’t you love entering weekends with a back-to-back where your entire weekend mood rides on the fortunes of a sport where even the worst non-Coyote teams win or tie (before bonus point contests) 40% of the time?

If the Isles win tonight, whatever happens tomorrow when the Leafs visit will go down much easier. If they don’t pull it off, we’ll be heading to that endless Worst Loss of The Season cycle.

It’s the bed they, and the pandemic, have made.

For fans eyeing a miracle climb back to the playoffs and another “gotta be buyers!” trade deadline, Jakob Chychrun is back and healthy for the Coyotes. I don’t want to think about what he would cost and I don’t actually think it’s something the Isles would be in position to do.

Game time is 7:30 EST, and no exclusive broadcast limitations this time around.

Check Coyotes coverage at Five For Howling, where they have dealt with an endless succession of John Spanos.