Six games into the season the Phoenix Coyotes are still struggling to figure out exactly who it is they're going to be. With a 2-2-2 record nothing's set in stone, but we seem to get a different looking team every game at the moment. Last year's model was built on consistency and that's certainly something the Coyotes haven't had much of yet. With Shane Doan out and the loss of Martin Hanzal early along with a few of the guys having minor injuries in the preseason (Derek Morris, Ray Whitney, Ed Jovanovski) the lineup has been constantly changing. The team has to find a way to turn a lackluster start into something more regardless though. This early in the season you don't want to have too much ground to make up in the division already but Dallas has gotten off to a great start and the Kings have pulled out as well.
The Montreal Canadiens have done alright to begin the year with a 4-2-1 record. They're in the East so I honestly haven't seen much of them except their opening night loss to the Leafs. They did shutout the Senators on Saturday, though it's Ottawa, so maybe it's not a trend. The Canadiens have won 10 of the 16 meetings against the Coyotes since the move to Phoenix. Not cool. The Coyotes will have to pick it up against guys like Andrei Kostitsyn who leads the Habs with 4 goals this season.
Five for Winning
Total Power Outage: Could the Coyotes power play get any worse? Not really. Giving up a shorthanded goal on a bad play against Carolina was ugly and the rest of the play with the advantage wasn't much better. I know the team has never been great on the PP, but I didn't expect us to regress like this. The coaching staff needs a better plan and the players have to execute better. Just unacceptable.
W-U-T: The line of Wojtek Wolski, Scottie Upshall and Kyle Turris really made some waves in the third period of Saturday's game. In fact all the Coyotes goals came with them on the ice. Kyle Turris got 2, Upshall the other and Wolski got a couple of assists. That being said, it looks like Coach Dave TIppett will put Turris on a different line. At least to start the game with Eric Belanger centering Wolski and Upshall.
Calder Candidates: Each team has a promising young rookie playing for them that would love to one up the other with defensmen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Montreal's P.K. Subban. Both are seeing significant ice time and both fanbases should look forward to hearing about each of them non-stop tonight. Yay.
Stay Responsible on D: Ilya Bryzgalov has looked solid to start the year and the few times he's gotten burned have been mostly because of a blown defensive play creating a breakaway or leaving someone wide open on the opposite side of the net. Keep pressure up, but stop making dumb plays that leave your goalie vulnerable.
Pyatt Battle: Phoenix's Taylor Pyatt vs. Montreal's Tom Pyatt tonight. The teams only meet once a year so hopefully our Pyatt takes this one. It's Certainly possible as until last game his line with Vernon Fiddler and Lee Stempniak was the most consistent line we had rolling.
With two goals in Saturday's game his hard work so far this year has finally paid off. Hopefully it continues to do so for the young center.
For whatever reason Carey Price doesn't do very well in front of the home crowd compared to the away ones this year. Away from the Bell Center he has an impressive 1.51 GAA. At home in front of Habs fans? 3.26. With our defensive play if we score 3 we can usually pull a win out, but hopefully we can pile on.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|