Phoenix Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett told the media this morning that defenseman Derek Morris would not play in game 1 of the series against the Red Wings as he has an upper body injury. That leaves the question of who to play in his place. The likely candidate will be David Schlemko who has seen significant time when other guys have been injured throughout the season. but should it be? Here are the 3 guys that could play.
The aforementioned David Schlemko: He's got some definite offensive upside, strong on the puck, able to carry it into the zone and can sneak into the play up front much like Keith Yandle. Unfortunately he tends to do so like Yandle did a couple years back where he struggles to get back on defense once he's in the play.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson: The rookie defenseman was called up, but has been a frequent healthy scratch for the team. He's strong in the corners and has great stick handling, but hasn't shown the consistancy needed for regular playing time yet. He has shown that he can grind out plays and win puck battles though, so it's a possibility.
Nolan Yonkman: The big defenseman can lay out some monster hits and isn't afraid to mix things up when necessary. He's not offensively gifted or the fastest skater, so he's a stay at home type that can make some poor choices at times. That's part of the reason he was sent down after playing some solid games early in the year. For one game to set the tone he might not be a bad choice though.
Detroit Updates: Henrik Zetterberg will not play tonight and is also not thought likely for game two. While the rest of the roster has talent, teams never like being without their top goal scorer. Mike Modano will be a healthy scratch according to Mike Babcock.