Phoenix Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche Preview: Fan Appreciation Fun Day

USA TODAY Sports

In the home finale, the Phoenix Coyotes host the Western Conference worst Colorado Avalanche at Jobing.com Arena looking to build on a strong showing against the Sharks on Wednesday night.

Playing for pride is all that's left for the Phoenix Coyotes, but if Wednesday night's victory over San Jose is any indication, the Desert Dogs still feel like they have a lot to show folks. For the fans, there will be the usual array of giveaways and fan-oriented arena fun, and hopefully one last victory on home ice to send fans into another off-season of ownership fun and excitement.

For the Avs, there is absolutely nothing to play for - they will finish 29th in the league this year, last in the West and only ahead of Florida in the East. After coming somewhat close to the playoffs last year, the Avs were looking to take the next step and return to the postseason during the shortened season, but injuries and all of the other issues that seemed to plague the Coyotes doomed them to this fairly disappointing finish.

This is the third meeting between the Avs and 'Yotes with Phoenix taking the first two match-ups by scores of 3-2 in overtime at Colorado and 4-0 in Glendale.

Five For Winning

1. Put On a Show. It's the final home game of the season (and possibly the final home game in Phoenix, maybe), so it would be nice to go out with a bang...like a 7 goal outpouring or something.

2. Get a #1? Despite the general disappointment of the season, Mike Smith is actually tied for first in the league with 5 shutouts; adding a 6th for the top spot would be pretty sweet.

3. Who is the scoring leader? Shane Doan leads the team with 26 points, but Keith Yandle and Mikkel Boedker are right behind him with 25 each, Radim Vrbata has 24, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson has 23. Can Doan hold off the younger guys through the final two games?

4. Play For a Spot. Chris Conner, Alexandre Bolduc, and Rob Klinkhammer (maybe to a lesser degree) are each trying to show the management that they deserve to be here in the fall. Conner's been the most impressive recently, but whether they will be this year's Gilbert Brule remains to be seen.

5. Win. For the fans, just because.

Players to Watch


Shane Doan

#19 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

223

Oct 10, 1976



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2012 - Shane Doan 46 13 13 26 6 35 0 0 2 127


Gabriel Landeskog

#92 / Left Wing / Colorado Avalanche

6-1

204

Nov 23, 1992



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2012 - Gabriel Landeskog 34 9 7 16 -3 22 0 3 1 106

Doaner's had a lot of success against the Avs this year with a few goals (including the OT game winner), a few assists and some general feisty play. Landeskog is just a fun kid to watch play even if he isn't scoring as much as I would've expected.

Likely Starting Goalies


Mike Smith

#41 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes

6-4

218

Mar 22, 1982



GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2012 - Mike Smith 33 1891 15 12 80 2.54 910 830 .912 5


Jean-Sebastien Giguere

#35 / Goalie / Colorado Avalanche

6-1

202

May 16, 1977



GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2012 - Jean-Sebastien Giguere 17 852 5 4 39 2.75 438 399 .911 0

Can't imagine it's not Smitty for the 'Yotes. Varlamov and Giguere seem to be exchanging starts recently, so we'll go with J-S.

Injuries

Coyotes

Rob Klinkhammer (concussion) - day-to-day

Derek Morris (lower body) - day-to-day

Avs

Erik Johnson (wrist) - day-to-day

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