The Phoenix Coyotes are seemingly back on track after not only back-to-back wins but three in a row. Hooray! Though I doubt the hat tricks continue, the Coyotes offense has seemingly found itself. Ray Whitney and Vernon Fiddler have both gone from 0 goals to 3 in the matter of a game. Players that we expect to actually contribute are now starting to do so. Wojtek Wolski has also looked much improved over the past few games with some nice passing and dangles. With 3 days since the last game hopefully the momentum is still on their side. Ilya Bryzgalov has done well too even if the team hasn't done him any favors late in games. The Coyotes still need to learn to put teams away as the Flames almost came back to tie it after the Coyotes scored in the empty net. They did nearly the same thing against the BLues with more late goals after having the lead late into the game.
The Flames on the other hand have dropped their last two games to, well, the Coyotes as well as the Sharks this past Friday. Overall they've lost 6 of their last 7 and are trying to fight their way out of the Western Conference cellar. In an effort to get something going the Flames traded forward Brett Sutter and defenseman Ian White to the Carolina Hurricanes for right wing Tom Kostopoulos and defenseman Anton Babchuk. None of those players will be in the lineup tonight though. Mikka Kiprusoff hasn't had quite his normal stuff with a .903 save percentage, that's not awful, but not all that great either. Not that he's had a ton of defensive help though.
Five for Winning
Power Play Consistency - In the last game against the Blues the Coyotes went 3 for 7 on the power play. For once. It was impressive as the Coyotes power play doesn't typically work all that well and they did it against a team that had killed all 22 of their last 22 PK chances. It's frustrating that they Coyotes are only successful at this in bursts. They'll have one game where they score a bunch and then go on another long drought. I'll be happy if they get 1 tonight just to keep it going.
Fourth Line? - Scottie Upshall and Kyle Turris have been getting 4th line minutes even though they should be getting more time. They'll go back and forth having Paul Bissonnette or Petr Prucha on the opposite wing. Getting them more involved would balance out the coring more as well as get a couple players that deserve it more ice time in the future.
Big Injuries - The Flames are one beat up team and with the aforementioned trade they'll be even more short handed tonight. The Coyotes need to take advantage of it and play their fast and physical style. The Coyotes are still only missing Shane Doan, who, while important, isn't critical at the moment it seems.
Hats Galore - Sure, we should expect a hat trick yet again, but the Coyotes seem to have a knack for scoring them this year. 4 players, each of whom started the games in which they had their hat tricks with 0 goals. Pretty impressive starts for many of the guys. If he's in the lineup Petr Prucha could be up next given that streak if he plays.
Improved Passing - One of the reasons the Coyotes have fared better as of late is that they seem to have figured out that passing it to each other rather than the other team is actually beneficial. Who knew right? They need to keep them crisp and on target to keep the streak alive.
3 goals and 2 assists in the game against the Blues he finally woke up in a big way. Factoring in every goal isn't too shabby I suppose. Maybe his hand is finally completely healed.
Does anyone like this guy? Even Flames fans want him shot to the moon.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Calgary Flames Injuries
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|