Oh how I pine for the days of yesteryear. When the Kings couldn't buy a goal. When the purple defense was laughably porous. When no matter who they put in goal it wasn't enough to keep us from beating them. Those days have passed it seems, but not all is lost. While the Kings may be making a charge towards the top of the division, the Coyotes too have come out of the basement and are clawing their way up the standings. If no longer destroying the Kings every single time we face them is the price to be paid for overall success then I'll take it! Though I'm not quite ready to concede this game just yet...
FIVE FOR WINNING
PK vs. PP
The Coyotes have managed to deny their opponents on the last 18 power play chances. An 0 for 18 chances looks pretty great for one of the work penalty killing teams of last year. However. Against the Kings in three games this year the Coyotes have allowed them to score on 6 of the 12 chances they've had. Something is going to give tonight. Either the Coyotes will have tightened up and figured out the PK better or the Kings are going to go to town yet again as they are lights out against pretty much everyone on the power play, especially at home where they're 5th in home rink PP% at 24.5%
Can Taylor Pyatt's Scoring Streak Continue?
After a less than spectacular start Taylor Pyatt has been on fire the past three games getting a goal in each one. He's come up with a patented "Hold off the defender with one arm and tip the puck 5 hole move" Where he pretty much does exactly that. Though last game he got an incredible one timer from a Shane Doan pass that he beautifully weaved through two Wild defenders
Bryzgalov for Vezina?
Okay, maybe it's a little early for that, (Though not by much) but I don't think Coyote fans could have expected or wanted much more out of Ilya Bryzgalov so far this season. He leads the league in shutouts with 4. He's among the best in both save percentage and Goals Against Average. The defense has been there, but he's gone from a goalie that was suspect in the eyes on many fans, to the guy that's carried this team into contention. He'll need to be good again tonight as the Kings have been one of the few teams that have been able to score on the Russian. They've managed to score 7 goals in Bryz's 2 starts.
Get the Jump On Them Early
Sure it's always nice to get the early lead, but it will be critical to do so tonight. The Kings are coming over a hard fought 5-4 overtime victory against the Sharks last night and will (hopefully) be at least a little tired. The bigger reason though is that the Kings have shutdown teams late in games from making comebacks in the 3rd. If the Kings take a lead into the final frame they've won in all 13 instances.
Defrost the Power Play
While our Penalty Kill has been solid. Our Power Play has been ice cold. THough we've managed to put together our 5 game winning streak. We've done so without a single power play goal in the last 18 chances. Every goal we've scored in the past 5 has been at even strength. THat says a lot for how our team is working the 5 on 5, but we have to start converting some of those shorthanded chances if we want to climb up the standings any more than we already have.
Shane Doan has been racking up the assists lately but the team could use some more goals from him. Los Angeles seems to be the team for him to do it against as he's scored 3 goals in the 3 games against the Kings so far in the season series.
Wayne SImmonds has come a long way since last season when he was getting checked all over the place by Shane Doan. Now he's developing into quite the player for the Kings. He's riding a 6 game point streak in which he's been 4-4-8 and on the season overall he's 9-10-19 and an astounding +13. He's one of the players to keep an eye on with Ryan Smyth still out of the lineup.
The Owie List
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|