The Coyotes return home tonight, after a disapointing game in Dallas on Saturday, to face the Edmonton Oilers in what sould be a highly exciting, hihgly attended game... okay, maybe not, but I certainly can't blame anyone for not coming to see this team, and by this team I mean the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers have had what can, at best, be described as a terrible season. With the offseason signing of Nikolai Khabibulin and some talented young players, they were at least expecting to be in the mix in this part of the season, or at least not to be the league's worst team going into the All-Star break. I'm pretty sure most 'experts' expected that team to be, well, us. Instead the Oilers have battled injuries to Key players like Khabibulin, Sheldon Souray and Ales Hemsky. Fernando Pisani was out for quite a while and now Sam Gagne is headed back to Edmonton tonight with another injury. They just can't catch a break, or rather, they're catching too many breaks. While some of the callups have done okay, when you're playing half an AHL team against full NHL ones it's not going to end well.
The Coyotes on the other had have done more than anyone could have thought this year. Going into game 60 with as many wins as they had last year, dodging *knock on wood* too many injuries and rolling to 5th place in the West with some separation now from the teams fighting for 8th. While Kurt Sauer and Scottie Upshall are out long term, the majority of the team has played night in and night out. After a terrible showing in Dallas the Coyotes had better be hungry and not look past the Oilers though.
The Starting Goaltenders
|2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov||50||2939||30||15||114||2.33||1410||1296||.919||6|
Bryz has been solid in net (yes, even in Dallas) and he's needed to be. With the Coyotes scoring only 1 goal in the past 3 games the offense has dried up.
|2009 - Jeff Deslauriers||32||1846||11||18||93||3.02||962||869||.903||2|
Deslauriers is 2-2 in his last fours starts, but on the road he hasn't fared as well with a 6-9 record. Overall the Oilers are not good on the road with a 7-17-2 overall record. It's not been pretty.
With Scottie Upshall out Vrbata is going to need to continue putting in some goals. Last time around with Phoenix this is about the time he went ice cold.
Damned if I know who should really go here, so Comrie goes here. Maybe he can do something to increase his trade value? Probably not.