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The Phoenix Coyotes will attempt to create yet another win streak after beating the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. They'll attempt to do so against the Anaheim Ducks, who while they are in 13th place in the Western Conference, still have a shot at the playoffs as they're only five points out of 8th place. This Ducks team is going to have to really buckle down if that's the goal though as there are plenty of other teams that have picked it up for them to try and leapfrog. While in the spirit of sportsmanship I may wish them well, I also pragmatically want to crush their hopes and dreams like an egg.
The Coyotes are coming off a nice win in which the new guys featured prominently. Wojtek Wolski got the game winner and Lee Stempniak scored in the opening of the game in the win. There's not much more to ask of your new bodies than to have them chip in on the scoring right away. Heck, that's why we wanted to bring them in in the first place. Derek Morris was shaky at the start but will improve the blueline and Mathieu Schneider cleared re-entry waivers just in time to face one of his former teams. Hopefully our power play looks a little more competent with him there. Ed Jovanovski should also return after missing a game with a minor injury last time out.
As for the Ducks, they ate it on Wednesday to the same team we beat on Thursday in the Avalanche. It was the first home loss in a while. Actually they hadn't lost at home since December 6th. While there's a large break for the Olympics in there, that's still a long time. However, it's that home record that has kept them in the hunt for a playoff berth as the record on the road has been bad at best. They're 4-6 in the last 10 road games and 11-17-5 overall. They also score 25% less goals on the road than at home despite having played 3 more road games (100 home goals in 30 games, 76 road goals in 33 games). We need to take advantage of the goalscoring dearth and jump on them early. And stay on them.
|2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov||56||3278||33||18||128||2.34||1568||1440||.918||6|
Bryzgalov will go for the Coyotes single season record for goaltender wins in this start. He tied it with his 33rd win on Thursday and with still 16 games after this one will likely shatter that mark and put some distance between himself and the three goaltenders that share the 33 mark in Sean Burke (2001-02), Bob Essensa (1992-93) and Brian Hayward (1984-85)
|2009 - Jonas Hiller||47||2701||26||18||123||2.73||1493||1370||.918||2|
Hiller let in a couple soft goals against Colorado on Wednesday, but has had some good practice time since to try and get things straightened out. The Coyotes will need to break their habit of making one too many passes and just get pucks on net from the get go to see if he's figured out the issues or if they can get a puck or two in quickly.
Why not put the guy up here again? It worked last game. I want to see if he's really out of this slump that Avs fans keep telling me he had, or what. Hopefully he sets the net on fire.
Blake has been playing pretty good since arriving from Toronto and had a goal and an assist in his first game back from the break. Maybe he can just go back to going around in circles and not score anything tonight.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Anaheim Ducks Injuries
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|