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Phoenix Coyotes at Columbus Blue Jackets Preview - Game #35

The Coyotes continue their 4 game road trip in Columbus tonight against the Blue Jackets. The two teams have split the two previous meetings with the Jackets winning in Phoenix 2-0 and the Coyotes winning in Columbus 4-1. The Coyotes will be leaning on backup Jason LaBarbera in the second game of the back-to-back.LaBarbera Has Been up and down on how his starts have gone, but last time he faced the Blue Jackets he did pretty well only allowing the one goal.

The Coyotes are coming off a big win in Toronto downing the Leafs 6-3 and suddenly finding the offense all at once. Let's hope we have at least a little left in the tank for tonight.

Five for Winning

Shane Doan's 1000th Game
It may not show up on a stat sheet (though it may, I don't really know) but this will certainly an emotional game for not just the Captain, but for the other guys on the team. Doan has been a great guy for this team both on the ice and off and to have had him on the team for the entirety of his NHL career is something you just don't see with many players in any professional league anymore. I want to see both him , or barring that, the team win this one tonight for him.

Lots of Jackets on Fire
While the Blue Jackets may have lost 3 games in a row, several of their players have been finding a scoring touch lately. Rick Nash is back on a point per game pace and RJ Umberger has gotten multiple points 5 times now, most recently on the 14th against Nashville. Jason Chimera and Antoine Vermette have also been generating points for Columbus lately.

Garon Gets the Start Again
Mathieu Garon will get the start against the Coyotes tongiht, just as he did last time we visited Columbus (see 4-1 win above). This time though it's not just to give Steve Mason a night off, but because Mason has not done well of late (1-5-1 in December). Garon isn't a bad goalie, but as we've shown he's certainly someone we can beat.

No More Speed Bumps
With how these two teams have been playing as of late this is a team that the Coyotes should in theory beat. We can't go into the building being confident in that fact, or with how we played last night. Be confident in yourselves, but not to the point that we start getting complacent again or you get what happened in Detroit the other night. Play the same plan and same system that Tippet has preached all year and don't sit back.

Get the Czechs Out There
The line of Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Petr Prucha has been on fire lately. Just last night they combined for 3 goals and 4 assists. Hanzal alone had 3 of the As. Everytime the staff tries to move people around and tamper with that line the guys are less productive on their own. So don't touch it! Just put them out there as much as possible and see how long this can continue.

Players to Watch

Shane Doan

#19 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes



Oct 10, 1976

Game 1000 for Captain Coyote. Maybe he brought some fireworks for all of us tonight!

Rick Nash

#61 / Left Wing / Columbus Blue Jackets



Jun 16, 1984

I hate him and his highlight goals. NO MORE! Shut the man down. If someone is going to beat us, make sure it's not him.

The Owie List

Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009

Columbus Blue Jackets Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rostislav Klesla groin 12/01/2009
Derek Dorsett hand 12/13/2009