Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes - Close February Out Strong

The Phoenix Coyotes are one game away from doing something truly amazing, not losing a game in regulation during the entire month of February, with just one huge obstacle standing in their way, the Vancouver Canucks. When this month first started some people were wondering if the Coyotes were going to even make the playoffs. Now we are wondering if the Yotes are going to win the Pacific Division, but there are still plenty of games that need to be played, starting with tonight’s.

The Vancouver Canucks are the only division leader that the Desert dogs have yet to beat, and it isn’t hard to see why, they are currently leading the NHL with 87 points. The last time that the Canucks were in town, they shut out the Coyotes 5-0, in a game which we all would like to forget. The Yotes had better luck last time though; they scored late and took Vancouver to the shootout which they lost in the sixth round.

Although the Canucks have had an amazing season they will be heading to Glendale coming off a 2-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars. Glendale will be the last stop on their 6 game road trip, where they have gone 3-1-1. This season they are 22-10-3 on the road and they are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games. When you think of the Canucks you of course think of the Sedin Twins, Henrik and Daniel, who have been relatively quiet against the Coyotes, only getting assists in the first game.

Five For Winning:

  1. Keep it in regulation. Its nice to gain the extra point, especially a team like Vancouver which is so good, but last time we met Vancouver managed to win the shoot out. Take away that opportunity and get the two.
  2. Score first, score often. So far the Yotes really haven’t had much of an offense against the Canucks, Vancouver tends to score first and control the game. If the Coyotes can score first that may change the entire play of the game.
  3. Win the first period. Vancouver is going to be coming in having just lost to Dallas, and they are going to go hard in the first to try to get some momentum going. Phoenix needs to weather this storm, and win the period.
  4. Shoot the puck. The first meeting the shots on goal was 37-22 Vancouver, a game they won 5-0. The second meeting it was 24-22 Phoenix, and it went to overtime. Good things happen when Phoenix outshoots their opponents. The newest Coyote Antoine Vermette has come close to getting his first goal as a Coyote, tonight would be a good night to make that happen.
  5. Special teams. When they play together the Coyotes tend to get more penalties then the Canucks, 8 vs 6 minutes in both games, the penalty kill is going to need to keep Vancouver from getting power play goals if this trend continues and a few power play goals for Phoenix would be nice. We did it against LA why not against Vancouver?

Players to watch


Ray Whitney

#13 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

5-10

180

May 08, 1972



G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Ray Whitney 18 39 57 24 24

The Wizard is on a major point streak, he scored the game winner against Edmonton and has points in the past 5 games. What’s the one team that the Prime Line member has not gotten a point against in the month of February? The Vancouver Canucks, he did get a goal in the shootout against Vancouver though.


Ryan Kesler

#17 / Center / Vancouver Canucks

6-2

202

Aug 31, 1984



G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Ryan Kesler 19 24 43 16 40

Kesler has a goal and 2 assists against the Coyotes, and scored the game winner in the shootout. He is also the number 3 point scorer for the Canucks, and he scored in the game against the Stars.

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Gilbert Brule head 02/26/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Schlemko foot 01/08/2012
Derek Morris groin 02/12/2012
Rostislav Klesla other-excused 02/17/2012
Kyle Chipchura wrist 02/19/2012


Vancouver Canucks Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrew Ebbett collarbone 01/08/2012
Keith Ballard concussion 02/08/2012
Steve Pinizzotto shoulder 09/27/2011
Aaron Volpatti shoulder 12/02/2011


Remember you can head over to Nucks Misconduct to check out their coverage of tonight's game, and come back later to participate in our game thread.

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