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Coyotes at Ducks - Game #17 Preview - It's Gonna Get Bumpy

The Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks last met a week ago in a game in Phoenix. It was your average Ducks and Coyotes game until James Wisniewski decided to hit Shane Doan in the face with a forearm and elbow. Doan was woozy after the hit and the Coyotes were just plain pissed. Things were more than a little chippy from that point on. The hits were quite a bit harder and Doan even dropped the gloves with Wizneiwski and got even. Though I'm not so sure that's over with so it should be another hard hitting game tonight (That most here won't see on tv)

Five for Winning

It's Bryz Again: Ilya Bryzgalov is still getting the majority of the starts for the team. Jason LaBarbera was brought in to relieve him and push him, but hasn't really done that. Bryz will get a few days off as the next game isn't until Thursday, but It would also suck to have him get burned out down the stretch. He did great against the Hawks, so hopefully he can keep it up tonight.

Don't let the Hitting Get in the Way: While having a certain amount of physicality going on can make for an intense game, we can't let it be the sole focus and get us off our game. That's exactly what happened for a couple periods last week against them before we bounced back, but I imagine that the Coyotes will come in with a game plan that combines both hitting and skill.

Weather the injuries: Zbynek Michalek is still out with a leg injury of some sort as it's been reported that he has a walking cast on, Kurt Sauer is still out as well. Now Ed Jovanovski is Day-to-Day too. He made the trip with the team to California though, so he may be good to go. If not Shaun Heshka, who was just called up will start in his place. David Schlemko was solid on Thursday and will get Michalek's spot again tonight.

Keep the Special teams Up: 10th in PP% and 13th in PK% is the best our team has had in a Looooooong time. We're far enough into the season to see that it's not just a fluke anymore. In past seasons, the special teams were atrocious on both ends. Our new defensive system has the PK working well and though we don't get much offense in general we find ways to make it happen on the PP.

Getting the Role Players Involved: Daniel Winnik has looked great in this new system. He gets to hot, but in the odd point and leads the team in +/- at a +5. Peter Mueller got his first goal of the year in the last game as well. We need both of these guys to be playing at the top of their games to keep this team in contention.

I'll be watching tonight (I hope).