According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the fate of the NHL Phoenix Coyotes will depend on how they fare in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The article states that "The longer the Coyotes are in the NHL playoffs, the more time Glendale has to find bond investors and NHL and prospective Coyotes owner will have to finalize a deal to keep the team in Arizona."
So in other words, if the Coyotes want to remain in Arizona, they will have to break what has come to be known as the "Curse of the Jets." The Coyotes have never won a playoff round, since moving to the Arizona desert back in 1996. In fact, you would have to go back to 1987 the last time the franchise was able to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets disposed of the Calgary Flames in six games that season, before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup winning champion Edmonton Oilers.
By the looks of the standings, this will be no easy feat. The Coyotes are currently sitting in the #6 seed in the Western Conference, and if they want to move up in the standings, they will have to defeat the Kings and Sharks to close out the season. The odds of that happening are fairly slim, so it's likely Phoenix will be forced to play either San Jose or Detroit in the opening round.
The San Jose Sharks have had the Coyotes number all season. In fact, the Sharks have won all games against the Coyotes, dating back to last season. On the other hand, the Coyotes may have to play the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. Last season, despite having home ice advantage, the Wings disposed of the Coyotes in 7 games. This year, Detroit has home ice advantage (although one can argue that every time the Wings play in Arizona, Detroit fans seem to outnumber Coyotes fans).
At any rate, the odds are against the Coyotes to go very far in the playoffs. That happens to be great news for Winnipeg hockey fans.