Coyotes Kickoff Six Game Roadtrip Against New Jersey Devils

That's about all they have going for them right now...

Typically when the Phoenix Coyotes are about to face the New Jersey Devils I'm here talking about how the Devils are leading the Atlantic or are just behind the Penguins in the race. Not this time around though. After spending big to land Ilya Kovalchuck this summer they've really eaten it and hard. At this point the Devils are just trying to stay ahead of the Islanders and even with the Isles losing 12 of 13 New Jersey is only 3 points ahead of them with a staggering 18 points. Needless to say, this is a game the Coyotes should win and need to win. Rather than being slumpbusters as the team has seemed to like to do, they need to kick the Devils while they're down. They're still capable of stealing a game with good goaltending so the Coyotes need to stay on top of this one from the beginning.

Five for Winning

Good Start on the Trip - A good start to a long roadtrip is always a good thing. It sets the tone in the room for the next couple days, even though the guys do play again right away tomorrow against the Rangers. After having a few days off the work ethic and fight need to be apparent from the drop of the puck rather than easing their way into as they've been known to do.

Still Underdogs -  Sure the city council voted for the lease last night so the team is most likely staying put. You guys are still the underdogs and need to play like it. Don't go getting all complacent on us now. Bringing home a bunch of points and getting wins against big teams will do a lot to help fill the building when you come back home.

Keep up the Offensive Push - Especially against a team that plays as defensively as the Devils do the Coyotes will have to keep those shot totals high and get in front of Martin Brodeur constantly. He hasn't been his normal self stealing games for the Devils, but that's thanks largely in part to the team in front of him just playing pretty poorly. He's still good but he's for more beatable than he has been in the past. 

Special Teams - Even on the PK the Coyotes are finding ways to score goals. Okay Lauri Korpikoski is finding ways to score at least. The power play has been improving too as they're now 13th in the league with 17.7% with the extra man. After starting poorly the PK has been up as well allowing 2 goals on 20 tries over the last 5 games. 

Ilya vs. Ilya - Bryzzgalov and Kovalchuck which one is worth more to their team at the moment. Our Ilya is having another great season between the pipes while theirs can't seem to put a puck there. The guy has all of 5 goals and is an astounding -18. I'm not a =/- fan but that kind of skew is just insane for an "elite" goal scorer. Maybe it's just a one season thing, but man is that contract looking god awful right now. Can you tell which Ilya i'm predicting to win tonight?

Key Players


Radim Vrbata

#17 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

190

Jun 13, 1981


Vrbata has struggled to find the back of the net lately. In fact he hasn't scored since November 19th against Edmonton. You do remember this is a contract year for you and there are a lot of young wingers in our system right Radim? Just checking.


Jason Arnott

#25 / Center / New Jersey Devils

6-5

220

Oct 11, 1974


Leading the Devils with 9 goals. That's 17% of the Devils season total. Yep they've managed 53 total goals in 29 games. 

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

No Injuries.



New Jersey Devils Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jamie Langenbrunner other-excused 12/15/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Zach Parise knee 10/31/2010
Bryce Salvador concussion 10/03/2010
Mark Fraser hand 10/14/2010
Jacob Josefson hand 10/28/2010
Matt Taormina ankle 11/14/2010

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