Phoenix Coyotes at Boston Bruins - Game 1 Preview

So I don't really like the Bruins. That said I also don't hate the Bruins. I dislike that Blake Wheeler kid they still have, but have grown ambivalent to him as well. Why? Mostly because the Bruins are exciting like the Devils pre-Kovalchuk are exciting. They play good defense but score even less than your Phoenix Coyotes do. Sure they made the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but of all the Original Six teams they're the most forgettable. Do I have some sort of anger from Boooooins fans now? Good. Let's get this season rocking. Your full preview after the jump.

 

After the long journey (Okay it wasn't that long) through the preseason the Phoenix Coyotes are finally ready to drop the puck on their second season of awesomeness. I know I've rehashed this 14 different times, but with the offseason Addition of Ray Whitney along with the young guys Kyle Turris and Oliver Ekman-Larsson the Coyotes are looking not to only replicate last year's success but to eclipse it and go further in the playoffs than a round one exit. We're not going to "surprise" anyone. They're just straight up taking point from fools this time around. 

Who does Boston bring to the table for today's game? Well we all know they have the aforementioned Blake Wheeler, but he's still not a superstar. They've got the baby eating giant that is Zdeno Chara. He's actually pretty good, but he's not going to lead the team in scoring. Oh! Superstar center Marc Savard... nope. Down with post-concussion issues. In fact the Bruins had only one 20+ goal scorer in Marco Sturm (22) and were last in the league in scoring. Granted, the Coyotes weren't some goalscoring powerhouse either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter what happens this isn't going to be a barn burner. This is going to be a low scoring defensive game from both sides. 

That reality will be further exacerbated by the outstanding goaltending that both teams possess. It's no mystery that Ilya Bryzgalov is outstanding. You don't finish second in Vezina voting by being a slouch. Boston though has young Tuukka Rask who was a big part of the reason the Bruins made up for the lack of goal scoring. When your young goalie can play 45 games and have a .931 SV%? Yohgu're going to be alright. The question is can Rask keep up that level of play for another year in which he's been pretty much cemented as the starter with Tim Thomas on the bench rather than splitting time. 

Alright have a yammered on enough? I think so. Let's get to the important parts, like the return of...

Five for Winning:

Can Kyle Turris...: a) Prove he deserves his spot on the team. b) Turn into the player his potential says he can be c) Play big enough that he doesn't get pushed around. None of those questions will be completely answered tonight, but he'll begin to answer them in his first regular season game back from the San Antonio bus rides.

Can the Wizard Create Magic?: Ray Whitney was brought in to solve some of our power play power outage issues. He's not going to be a cure all, but it will be interesting to see what chemistry he has with other players especially Radim Vrbata who he connected well with in the preseason. 

Who wins round 1 of the goalie battle?: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Tuukka Rask. Two men enter, one man leaves one man has a slightly better record going into tomorrow's game. Seriously though, this should be a goaltending clinic. 

Start Good Habits Now: Actually you should have started them a few games ago, but that was camp. Work hard, get the puck in the zone and for goodness sake make the power play work early in this season. 

Czech-Ch-Czech-Czech-Czech-Ch-Czech It Out: Everyone's talkin' 'bout Krejci, but the Coyotes have a whole Czech line son. Martin Hanzal, Radim Vrbata and Petr Prucha (maybe) will all be looking to perform for the hometown crowd. Wojtek Wolski is also going to have some 30+ family members in attendance from Poland. Edge: Coyotes

Key Players:


Oliver Ekman-Larsson

#23 / Defenseman / Phoenix Coyotes

6-2

176

Jul 17, 1991


He's the newest member of the Coyotes blueline and someone we're counting on to fill some big minutes. GM Don Maloney says he's locked into the #5 spot as of now so it'll be interesting to see what he can do. Go get 'em kid.


Zdeno Chara

#33 / Defenseman / Boston Bruins

6-9

255

Mar 18, 1977


Just look at that picture. He eats small children and lives under a bridge. You just know it. The Coyotes are going to have to use their speed to avoid some big hits from the big man. 

Injuries:


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009


Boston Bruins Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Marco Sturm knee 09/13/2010
Marc Savard concussion 09/22/2010
Trent Whitfield achilles-tendon 09/13/2010
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