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Phoenix Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks - Game #38 Preview - This Season's Gone Fast...


Wow does time fly. Somehow we're already halfway through the season, well, close to halfway. It's more odd for the NHL schedule makers to have already had us play our entire allotment of games against the Blue Jackets already and now get the Ducks for our 5th of this season's 6 meetings. Well I guess we'll be playing meaningful games against contenders down the stretch then.

Anaheim has taken a slide in the standings this year as they currently sit in 13th in the Western Conference, though just 5 points out of 8th. Despite this slide the Ducks have played well against the Coyotes this season getting 6 points in the four meetings (2-0-2). No word on which goalie we'll see tonight as it's typically Hiller, who plays well against us, but he also played last night in Colorado.

Five for Winning

Our New Number One Line?
No word on if Dave Tippett will run the line out there again, but he'd be silly not to. Shane Doan, Matthew Lombardi and Scottie Upshall combined for 10 points as a line on Monday and just oozed chemistry. We've been trying to find our offensive punch all year and while a guy would get hot here and there we didn't have a consistent threat. We may have just found it.

Killer Instinct
As the game against the Blue Jackets showed, we can finally put together a game where we get a lead and put our foot on the gas. Often this season, and in past ones the Coyotes would get an early lead and then coast for a period until they realized the opposition was coming back. On Monday they kept pushing the play and racking up goals. While our defense has been solid, good defense works even better when the puck is in the offensive zone and can get a break.

Who Will Actually Play?
With Vernon Fiddler out since this past Saturday's Ducks game with a lower body injury and now the possibility of Martin Hanzal not being in after getting cut open in a fight with Jared Boll we're getting a little short at center. While we do have Kevin Porter and Peter Mueller to plug in to the lines, Marty and Fiddler have been an important part of our success this year, especially on the Penalty Kill. It will be interesting to see what happens if neither of them are in tonight. If Mueller and Porter are both in, or if either of them are, this would be a good time to prove you belong here. Just sayin'.

Repeat the Disipline of Last Game
Saturday was the Penalty parade against the Ducks, Monday we cleaned up our act and didn't have nearly as many trips to the box. We'll need to duplicate that effort tonight to keep up with the Ducks. They come in with a 2nd ranked power play unit that's converting an astounding 23% of the time. For a team that gives up as many goals as the Ducks do, getting them back is important and the less we give them the opportunity to, the better off we'll be.

On Fire At Home
While I don't want to jinx anything, this stat is already out there so... The Coyotes have now won 7 straight at home. Pretty impressive. The crowds still aren't huge, but they are coming back and the fans that are there are more into the game than ever. Heckling goalies, cheering a ton, things are slowly getting better and these performances at home have been a big part of that.

Key Players


Scottie Upshall

#8 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-0

197

Oct 07, 1983



Radim Vrbata

#17 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-1

190

Jun 13, 1981



Yeah, I picked TWO Coyotes. My site, my rules. But the reason I did is that these two mst have some sort of bet going on about who's going to score more goals. They just seem to trade the team lead in them back and forth. Both of them currently have 12 goals a piece but Radim is ahead in points with a total of 21 to Scottie's 20. No word on what the bet could be.


Ryan Getzlaf

#15 / Center / Anaheim Ducks

6-4

221

May 10, 1985


In addition to being a total jer, Ryan Getzlaf already has 31 assists this season to go along with his 10 goals. We need to keep him from creating the plays which could be a challenge, especially if Martin Hanzal is out of the lineup.

The Owie List


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Vernon Fiddler other-excused 12/23/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

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


Anaheim Ducks Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Teemu Selanne hand 12/04/2009
Ryan Carter foot 11/12/2009
Joffrey Lupul back 12/09/2009