Hopefully you'll be joining at least a few Coyotes fans at the Native New Yorker in Avondale to eat wings at the same time the Coyotes make the Wings just plain eat it. If not, then you'll need at least a little bit of info for tonight's game.
This'll be an important matchup as with some thanks to the Calgary Flames' collapse the Red Wings have climbed up to 8th in the conference. The Coyotes currently sit at 5th only 5 points ahead. These Western Conference games are going to be huge for the rest of the year. According to James Mirtle's Playoff push numbers we just need to be a little bit above the .500 mark from here on in to make the postseason, but wouldn't it be better to get some home ice?
The Starting Goaltenders
|2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov||45||2626||26||14||102||2.33||1248||1146||.918||5|
Bryz is in net as usual and seems as though he's back on track. He got beaten a few time in DC, but those were some quality chances from a quality team. His stats aren't quite as impressive as they were a few weeks ago, but he's been better about keeping the puck and not giving rebounds like he was during his short slump.
|2009 - Jimmy Howard||34||1993||18||11||74||2.23||1002||928||.926||1|
Howard seems to have won the majority of the starts at this point for the WIngs. Chris Osgood has been good at times, but Howrad has really started to find himself this year. While he's gotten bout 3/5ths of the starts this year his Sv% and GAA have been pretty impressive. He typically isn't going to shut people out, but much like our own Ilya Bryzgalov, he plays well behind a solid defense.
Niklas Kronwall is expected to be back for the Red Wings who have been hammered with injuries this year. Even being out he's one of the top points guys on the Wings' blueline. Jonathan Ericsson came back a few games ago from the knee on knee injury he took in a collision with Shane Doan the last time the two teams met in Detroit. Who do we need to take out this time? No announcement on if Daniel Winnik will be back tonight or not. He's on the trip, but didn't play in Washington.
More after the jump...
Who Will Find the Well Tonight?
We had Scottie Upshall get the Natural hat trick against the Predators then Lauri Korpikoski was finding the net against the Capitals in the loss, so who will it be tonight? I hopeful, though not optimistic, that Peter Mueller will be the guy, as he's really looked a lot better as of late. I'll go with Radim Vrbata as he's been neck and neck with Upshall for the team lead in goals all year. He's fallen a few behind with Uppy's hat trick the other night so he needs to pick it up.
So What's The Plan?
Just keep it simple. Do all the things that got you to where you are and don't do too much special. Except for clearing out the net. (Holmstrom) THe Wings will be tough as usual on defense so keeping the turnovers to a minimum and controlling the tempo will be key. Make sure the passes are purposeful and on target as when out passes get sloppy, our whole game seems to go with it.
While I said that I wanted Vrbata to find the goals I want Hanzal to elevate his game a little more too. While the strength of his game is his defensive effort he's been pretty invisible lately, even if his opposition has been too.
He always comes up with big goals. I hate that about him. I just want him and his line to just do nothing tonight.