The Five For Howling Roundtable: A Disappointing Stretch

Greetings Phoenix Coyotes Fans. Our special guest for this edition is a returnee from last season and well known in Coyotes land for her wit and use of caps lock, Coyotes blogger and photographer extraordinaire, Yotesgurl. If for some reason you don't follow her on Twitter or read her blog we suggest you start doing so immediately. This week we take a look at the team's recent play, the trade with Ottawa, and ask for ideas on which Coyote should star in the NHL's newest TV series.

What is your analysis of the Kyle Turris trade?

Yotesgurl: I greatly wish this whole situation could have worked out differently. But alas, here we are with a new Dman on his way to Phx. Let's not lie, the fact that Rundblad is European greatly softened the blow of losing a boy who was the third overall pick. With David having great offensive up-side, being around Yandle should do him some good as far as making good decisions about when to jump into the play and when to hang back. Having a buddy for Oliver (other than Mikkel) will also do good for Olli's morale. He's still young and far from home, so hopefully the two Swedes will make it easier for each other. David's defensive decision-making is somewhat spotty, but having good mentors in Oakie and Kles will hopefully help him out, as it has for Olli in his second season. I find myself saying "hopefully" a lot because we have no idea how this will turn out and we are packed with Dmen right now. Even with Summers going back to Portland, we are packed. I hope this season doesn't turn out for David like last season did for Oliver. I feel like we will make a trade to open up a spot on D. Dmo going anywhere may be a pipedream. That leaves Rozy, who is expensive and a UFA at the end of the season. We shall see. I will definitely be rooting for new BB Swede.

The Ottawa side of the deal: Turris could turn around a whip out a post-trade Mueller performance (minus the head issues). I do hope the best for him, as he's just a good kid who followed bad advice. Everyone makes mistakes and this mistake landed us a promising Dman.

Ben: I really like the trade, I'm just wondering what piece of our Blue-line will have to sit or be traded to make room? We pay Morris too much to sit every game and he has a pretty strong NTC. I like the way OEL and Schlemko have been playing as of late, and Yandle has that all important A on the sweater so I don't see him sitting very often. That leaves Aucoin, Rozival and Klesla. Best case Morris waives his NTC and we unload him, worst case we pay a lot of money for one of our veteran d-men to sit in the press box.

Jordan: Considering the rave reviews of David Rundblad, it is probably a win for the Coyotes in the long term with some of the aging defenseman moving on. However, it doesn't address the clear need of this team which is an offensive sniper. I know that Tippett wants the team to focus on a defensive game, but somebody needs to find the back of the net and I was hoping that they might be able to find someone to fit that bill with this deal, even if it didn't come with a draft pick. So while it is better than we probably should have expected, I'm just not sure that it helps the team in the short term.

Travis: Give up: Sourpuss centerman who wasn't cracking the lineup or getting real minutes for a player the Sens thought was really good AND second round pick. Don Maloney makes other GMs look like absolute morons. I mean take a look at the Coyotes D for the foreseeable future. Yandle, OEL, Rundblad, Gormley, Schlemko plus Klesla and Rozsival. And some other developing players that could quietly move up the depth chart. Sure we still need forwards, but the future of the blueline is really really good.


What do you make of the Coyotes recent poor performance on the penalty kill?

Yotesgurl: Klesla being hurt is hard because he is one of the stalwart killers. Other than that, possible answers are that the schedule has been brutal as of late and some of our killers carry heavy 5 on 5 and power play minutes in addition to killing penalties. I think it's absolute genius to have added Vrb to the kill this season. He and Marty have such chemistry on their line that it carries over to the kill and Vrb is smart and quick. Lauri and Boyd are friggen rock stars in my book. Aucoin is solid on the kill but not the quickest guy and we all know Derek's had a rough year. I feel pretty comfortable with Olli out there this season, but we really miss Klesla.

Ben: Bad luck can only be an excuse for so long before you really look into the root of the problem. My issue with the PK is our defensemen seem to be complacent in letting guys setup camp in front of Smith screening his vision.

Jordan: Well, I didn't expect the Coyotes to be able to maintain the 90%+ performance that they had going for a while there, but it has been a disappointment how many power play goals they are allowing recently. This whole month has been a tough slog and it won't get any easier, so it's something they need to address. The bounces really haven't been going their way, though, and that will even out over the long term.

Travis: It's more a symptom of the overall problem of the Coyotes not playing defensively very well over the beginning of this month. It's really evident on the PK, but in general the Coyotes seem to be chasing the puck a lot and getting away from their shutdown game. It's a shame because outside of that the PK had been nearly automatic at killing the other team's momentum. They just need to get back to basics and start jamming up the blueline again.



Any idea why the Coyotes are surrendering so many goals late in game this season?

Yotesgurl: Discipline. We endured this crap when TGO was coaching and it's creeping back in. You play through the whistle and you play through the buzzer. I don't know if they are relaxing a bit because it's so close to the end of the period or game, but the intensity needs to be higher during that last minute than any other time during the period because those late goals are absolute freaking killers.

Ben: Ugh, I have no freaking idea. Bad bounces, Defensive break downs, Goal tending brain farts; Pick one.

Jordan: Again, it's probably just a few bounces and bad luck that will even out over the course of a season. I don't think there is anything systemic that is wrong with the team that they are breaking down late in periods, it just has been a noticeable lapse so far this year.

Travis: It's the same mentality that lost them games last year in which they think the win or tie is safe and let up expecting the other team will just give up. There are a couple of them where maybe Mike Smith should have made another big save, but more times than not the defense is just standing around while the competition swarms the net trying to win. They need to get that killer instinct back and put teams away because those last minute goals are back breakers.



If you could choose, which Coyotes player would you like to see followed for the new "NHL 36" program and why?

Yotesgurl: I know you're going to be shocked but, I'm so over North American players. FSN Snapshots have all been about North American players (with the exception of the Vrb last time) and they all seem so similar. I think the European players growing up in a very different culture and then making the change to the NHL is so much more interesting. How does having quasi-limited (or in Oliver's case, very limited) English skills impact them in Phx? The Euro players seem to clique together so how does that impact their families? Do they feel isolated?

I'd probably pick Lauri because he's interesting and has a dry wit. Plus, the thought of him and his Vespa makes me LOL.

Ben: The obvious choice is Biz, but I would have to say Captain Coyote, Shane Doan. Between watching him motivate his troops, to relaxing on his ranch, it would be interesting.

Jordan: Shane Doan or Keith Yandle. I think Doan would probably be the most interesting because he's been involved in the community for 15 years now and probably has some really cool things that he is doing on his off days. Yandle has shown that he is one of the most entertaining players on the team and I imagine that with his young daughter, it could be highly enjoyable to watch how he lives away from the ice.

Travis: I'd say Martin Hanzal or Keith Yandle. The usual answer is Shane Doan, but we've seen bunches of features on him. I'd like a feature on one of the guys that's going to be the future of the team. Biz might get some votes for this too, but I think we get enough via twitter and they'd have to follow him around until he's in a game :P
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