The Coyotes out battled the Blue Jackets last night to get back on track stopping a short, 2 game skid. While the first period was slow, they did come out as a dominant team in the 2nd and 3rd periods picking up the checking. The team looked very much like the one that smacked down the Pneguins earlier in the season. Let's keep it up as we go after the Boyes from St. Louis. Get it? Boyes? Haha. Shut up.
Five for Winning:
Players being held accountable?: Scottie Upshall is being scratched tonight after yet more unnecessary penalties on Wednesday. This is something pretty new to players in the organization. Typically not showing effort or making boneheaded plays meant that you got more ice time. Yet another way in which Coach Tippett is such a huge improvement for this team.
Bryz is back: Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start tonight after backup Jason LaBarbera let in just one goal against the Jackets. Hopefully seeing LaBarbera being solid twice now, even though he got the L in Buffalo, will help motivate him to get past a couple of tough outings. He started the season playing like an all-star and for a bit looked like he wanted to take the #1 spot for team Russia over Evgeni Nabokov. But his GAA is quite a bit higher after leting in 4 on 11 against the Rangers
Defense is scoring!: Jim Vandermeer and Zbynek Michalek both got goals last night to add to an already impresive output of goals from the Coyotes blueline. The D has scored 9 of the coyotes 29 goals and accounted for 21 of the 50 team assists. That's some nice production right there.
Power Play has returned: One thing last night's play had in common with the early season successes was that our power play was clicking. When we take advantage of chances like that we're going to win more games than not. We're currently the 11th ranked power play in the league, but we did score 3 on the PP last night, so we need that trend to continue.
On the other hand...: We need the PK to get better. We could be worse than 21st, but a LOT of the goals we've given up this year have been because we allow ourselves to get shorthanded. Even in games that we mostly dominate, like last night, we give up goals simply because we take too many bad penalties all in a row. You can only go so many times without getting burned. We need to pick it up boys!
See you at 5:00PM (Pacific) Sharp!