Can you believe it's already the 18th game of the season? I can't. I also can't believe that the Phoenix Coyotes have gotten off to a 10-7 record like we have. That's more than I could have expected coming into the season, though I hoped we'd do well, I certainly didn't expect it. The downside is that we've found ourselves in a funk and battling injuries all at the same time. Having 3 of your top 6 Defenders out of the lineup is no bueno. Hopefully we can build off of the win against the Blackhawks last week and how we came that close to completeing the comeback against the Ducks on Saturday.
Tonight we host the Montreal Canadiens who have not gotten off to the best start at 8-10-0. The Habs, like the Coyotes have lost 3 of their last 4 games so both will be looking to get out of a funk. No word on who will be in net for the Canadiens yet as both Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak have been getting time between the pipes.
Five for Winning:
Find a way to survive on D: We're out Zbynek Michalek, Kurt Sauer and now Ed Jovanovski is day-to-day. That's not good. In their places we have young guys Sami Lepisto, David Schlemko and Shaun Heshka filling in for them. That's a lot of minutes for some pretty young guys to eat up against a talented, but small, Habs lineup. They need to get used to playing big minutes and show that they can do so responsibly for the sake of our goaltender.
Repeat the Good, Learn From the Bad: THe Ducks game was not very pretty in a lot of ways. We gave up 4 unanswered goals and just looked flat for 2+ periods. We did however flip the switch towrad the end scoreing 3 quick goals to make things interesting. If Martin Hanzal buries that puck past Hiller into a wide open net, things would have been much different. Let's remember what got us those 3 goals, and correct the mistakes that lead to the ones against. (Lazy play)
Time to Be An Offensive Power: Well, our D will hopefully hold up, but without Z and Jovo it's just not as good as it was. Our goalscorers need to dig deap and gen a couple extra to take the pressure off the backend. While There may not be a lot of gold to mine there, there certainly has to be more than we've gotten so far.
End The Slump Now: We've been good about keeping losing streaks short. We need to make sure the winning ones are longer for the most part. So far we haven't had a longer losing streak than 2 games, but we don't need to hance anything. Let's get back on the + side again or we'll find ourselves slipping in the standings of a very competitive Pacific Division.
Four Days Off: We've had a lot of time to practice and get the new guys playing the system that we're used to. They better come out ready to play and not take that 1st period warm up time. Bryz needs to have his head on right and not let the early softie in either. We'll have to be on top of our game until we get our top guys back.