Thursday’s game is the start of something that most Coyotes fans I know dread, our series of games against the Detroit Red Wings. Coyotes fans seem to dislike games against the Red Wings for a couple of reasons, they tend to be tougher games and of course everyone hates Red Wings fans. It seems to be an almost universe sentiment that Red Wings fans are the most annoying fans in the NHL, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
The game against the Red Wings is important on two basic levels, a psychological level and a point level. In the Pacific Division every game counts because the teams are so close, except the Ducks of course, and every point that we can get is precious, especially with the win on Tuesday moving the Coyotes to the top spot in the Pacific Division. The team is really looking for this victory to secure their position, especially with only a two point lead over Dallas. Psychologically we need to beat the Red Wings just to prove that we can, especially after last year’s playoffs which we don’t need to talk about . . . ever again. But after that thing that we aren’t going to talk about we really need to a win. Detroit seems to get under a team’s skin, if they beat you once they seem to beat you again and again.
Coyotes will be going into this game with a road record of 9-4-1 after a shoot out win in Chicago and a 3-2 victory in Nashville. Hopefully back to back wins will give the Coyotes momentum going in to Detroit.
The Red Wings will be going into this game with an impressive home record of 10-2-1, however they will be going into the game having lost the last two against Colorado and St. Louis, however both of these games were away.
This is a similar situation to last weeks game against Chicago who had just come back from a road trip.
Phoenix will most likely play Mike Smith in goal for this game, although he had a somewhat shaky game against Philadelphia he still has a great record of 7-3-1 away and he was rested during the game against Nashville.
Phoenix Left Wing Ray Whitney is currently 1 assist away from a career 600, and the way he has been playing lately with 3 assists and 3 goals in the past 5 games you can bet that he is going to be reaching that mark soon.
With the Coyotes record this season there is no reason we should not be able to beat the Red Wings. With 2 wins against the Blackhawks recently, the Coyotes have proven that they can not only compete with some of the top teams in the NHL but we can also beat them too. It should also be noted that the Blackhawks are currently ahead of the Red Wings in the division although the two teams have yet to play each other this season. However if they are going to win they are going to have to play 60 minutes of hard hockey, they can’t slow down for a period like they sometimes do.