For the third time this season the Phoenix Coyotes face the Detroit Red Wings. It's nice to get these "lovely" Meetings out of the way early and the Coyotes haven't fared to badly against the Wings as they're 1-0-1 in the 2 games so far. The Coyotes could benefit from that trend continuing as they've once again fallen into a funk. Following the abysmal game in Dallas the Coyotes came home on Saturday and took a quick lead against the Penguins, but with some poor defensive play and poor passing gave the game back to the Penguins finally losing in the shootout. The team could really use another good game in Detroit to keep treading water for now until they get their heads right.
Detroit has won three of the last four since they last played the Coyotes. The loss though, was to Vancouver on Saturday 4-6. Penalties certainly didn't help the Wings as they took a couple of bad ones in the final period that gave the Canucks the upper hand. Alexander Edler and Manny Malhotra both had power play goals to close that one out. One thing to keep an eye on is the health of their goalies as both Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood have missed time due to injuries early.
Five for Winning
Passing: What's up with it? You're supposed to you know, not pass it directly to the other team a la Derek Morris' pass to Sidney Crosby last game. Those major mistakes will cost games as evidenced by Saturday.
Bail Bryz out: He's kept the team in so many games this year and stood on his head again against the Pens. The defense and centers need to help out by clearing the puck away after the first save. He's not giving up that many more rebounds than last year, more of them are just getting to the opposition first.
Knock the Lid Off: Nicklas Lidstrom is on a tear as of late. 11 points in 9 games isn't too shabby. He's not the only one either. Pavel Datsyuk has the same 11 points in 9 games. Both have at least one in each game so hopefully both of those streaks come to a screeching halt tonight.
You want adversity?: Last year it was the constant ownership bull. This year it's been injuries and suspensions. Shane Doan is out again week-to-week with a lower-body something or other and Ed Jovanovski is still a gametime decision with the flu. The Coyotes didn't play badly without them against the Pens, but you'd rather have those two guys in the lineup.
Still Waiting: Sure Ray Whitney got a few assists lately, but we're still waiting for the wizard to find the net. Wojetk Wolski finally found it hopefully that helps his confidence. Someone has to become the scorer for this team. There are plenty of guys capable of going on a tear and they need someone to pick up that torch and run with it. At least for a little while.
He seems to like getting shorthanded goals against the Red Wings. Maybe another pretty one tonight, though hopefully we also don't have that many reasons to be shorthanded.
Tied for the team lead in points with 14 with Datsyuk and Lidstrom. One of the many weapons the Wings have.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Detroit Red Wings Injuries