Last time the Phoenix Coyotes took on the Nashville Predators there were tornado watches, torrential downpours and a state of emergency in the greater Phoenix area. This time we're in Nashville where the city is digging itself out from a gigantic snowstorm. The bad weather just seems to hate this matchup doesn't it? The Coyotes took yesterday off and are looking to expand the gap between themselves and the bottom of the west playoff picture. The Coyotes already have 71 points, but the majority of the teams below them have a game in hand if not two and the best way to keep the others behind us is to keep winning.
The Coyotes did a great job of showing exactly what needs to be done with Scottie Upshall out of the line up for the foreseeable future. Shane Doan continued his hot streak with another goal and a couple assists. Peter Mueller got on the board with a goal and a helper and Radim Vrbata found himself again. All our capable scorers will have to do their part to fill the void, but we're off to a great start. Robert Lang is now out with an undisclosed injury so Mikkel Boedker remains in the lineup along with Paul Bissonette.
The Predators were in the midst of a losing streak when they ran into the slump busting Atlanta Thrashers. The Predators were able to overcome a weak power play unit and many missed opportunities to win 4-3. Martin Erat and Joal Ward each had a goal and Assist and Pekka Rinne kept them in the game though he only had to make 23 saves.
|2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov||48||2814||29||14||110||2.35||1350||1240||.919||5|
BRyz absolutely stood on his head in the last game against the Stars. While the score ended up 4-2 without some of the flurries he had we would have certainly lost. There were several sequences late where I have no idea how he even knew where the puck was, much less made a save on it. He's been in great form as of late and there's no reason that can't continue tonight.
|2009 - Pekka Rinne||35||1897||19||10||89||2.81||909||820||.902||2|
Wasn't tested a ton against Atlanta but was solid enough for the W. The Preds have been doing the tandem with Rinne and Dan Ellis splitting starts, but Rinne will get his second in a row. Ellis was who we got last time in the win. Rinne is 3-0 all time against the Coyotes so he's one tender we need to figure out early before he gets settled in.
After being left on basically the 4th line for most of the year, Mueller finally has a chance to show that he belongs on this team and silence those calling for him to be traded. He took a good first step with an outstanding game in Dallas but will need to show that he can play consistently well especially with the absence of Scottie Upshall.
He's returning after being out of the lineup with an upper-body injury since January 22nd. It's only a short amount of time, but he's been a strength on the Nashville penalty kill and our power play is an area that needs all the key PKers on the opposing team out to be effective on some nights.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Nashville Predators Injuries
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|