Phoenix Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers - Game #79 Preview - Back to the Future

After losing the last 2, the Coyotes look to get back on track and in Playoff form tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers, as we know, have not had a very good season. Still last in the league in the standings and pretty much a lock for the #1 pick barring some lottery fluke they don't have a whole lot to play for other than pride. But that seems to have been enough in more than a couple games lately. When they face big opponents for some reason they really bring their game. The took down the Sharks a few games back, have taken Detroit to the limit. Heck they were up 4-0 until the Wings remembered how to play. They're a dangerous team and we don't want the Coyotes selling them short. 

The Coyotes on their end have got to get their game figured out. They absolutely laid an egg against Vancouver and while they played better against Calgary, they didn't make the most of their chances. There are so many areas that need improving, but the biggest thing is just the passing. It feeds every other part of the game and has just looked horrible. We giving the puck away constantly by not connecting. More pucks have been into the feet or too far ahead or behind the intended player to really do any good. If we nail that down things like the power play increase in effectiveness, puck possession etc. Maybe the guys have just gotten a little too comfortable. THey need to get back to talking to each other and communicating.

One thing I didn't totally realize is that Zbynek Michalek was out against the Flames as he's a bit dinged up and just needed a game to get over being bruised all to heck from blocking shots. No word on if he'll be back tonight, but I'd say he probably will be. 

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov 66 3896 40 20 150 2.31 1879 1729 .920 8

He had better have practiced his puck handling yesterday in practice, or at least practiced NOT handling the puck after that gaffe against Vancouver on Tuesday. He has got to be smarter with the puck than that and I'm sure he knows it. Time to get in Playoff shape starting now.


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Jeff Deslauriers 45 2609 15 27 139 3.20 1405 1266 .901 3

He's really the only option at this point for the Oilers in net. He's been up and down in his play either doing really great, or really horribly, sometimes in the same game. Much like the rest of his team it's a mixed bag on what you get from night to night.

Key Players


Shane Doan

#19 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

224

Oct 10, 1976


We really need him to find his game again. Some fans think he's playing through an upper body injury. Other think he's just in one of those ruts players hit. Hopefully whatever it is gets figured out as while we aren't as reliant on his scoring as we once were, netting some goals would be amazing.


Ethan Moreau

#18 / Left Wing / Edmonton Oilers

6-2

220

Sep 22, 1975


He's the Oiler's captain and it seems the fan's favorite one of all time. What? 

The Infirmary


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Zbynek Michalek undisclosed 04/03/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009
Scottie Upshall knee 01/29/2010


Edmonton Oilers Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jean-Francois Jacques back 02/11/2010
Nikolai Khabibulin back 11/21/2009
Sheldon Souray hand 01/30/2010
Ales Hemsky shoulder 11/27/2009
Ryan Stone knee 01/14/2010

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