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Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes - Game Preview #41 - Semester's End

41 games = the halfway point of the season. Who'd have though we'd have 51 points already? I'm sure some stupid TSN expert thought we'd get about that many for the entire season. Well joke's on them. Though I suppose that's why they're still saying we'll take a nose dive any game now... Just so we don't entirely blow up their projections.

Tonight we get the up and coming Vancouver Canucks. The 'Nucks have started looking like the team they have in recent years as of late with Roberto Luongo playing better and the team starting to win games with regularity. In fact tonight they try to win their fourth game in a row. They'll be going up against the Phoenix Coyotes' streak of nine home wins though. The arena sure has been an oddly hostile place for opposing teams lately. Seriously. The crowds are getting larger and more fiesty. COuld it be that winning actually helps? Hmmm... Anyways...

Five for Winning

Eliminate the Wonder Twins
Form of...  Ineffective line! Guess who the Hanzal line will be matching up with? Total predicted output for the Sedin Twins? Zilch.

LaBarbera? NOOOOOO!
Well, maybe okay. It all depends on which LaBarbera we get. One piece of advice for him though. DON'T PASS! Just cover the puck. You don't control the puck well so just don't do it. His stats aren't bad, but he's 2-3 for us so far. I'll take the 2.33 GAA too. We'll know early on if he's going to be anything this game.

Solve Bobby Lu
The cure to starting LaBarbera is to get more goals than usual. We need a 4 or 5 goal night instead of a 2-1 battle to happen. But we'll have to find a way to get to Luongo early and often. I said it when we played last year and I'll say it again. We need to get puck five hole on him before he can drop. That's the one way that we've consistantly found to beat him.

Doan is Heating Up!
Suddenly the captain can find the back of the net. all it took was that Shootout goal and suddenly he's finding more confidence and more goals. According to the Coyotes website Doan has 3 goals and 3 assists over the last 5 games. We'll need some of that input from him tonight.

PK Performance
We're without Daniel Winnik and now it looks as though Vernon Fiddler will be back out as he really didn't get many minutes in the San Jose game. It'll be interesting to see who can step up and keep making out PK look good. That also means that we should see Kevin Porter in the line up as our 4th center.

Key Players

Peter Mueller

#88 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Apr 14, 1988

Why not? He's due. He's actually been playing hard and getting assists here and there. It would be nice to talk about Mueller in a positive production sense instead of just about trading him.

Kyle Wellwood

#42 / Center / Vancouver Canucks



May 16, 1983

<Insert Kyle Wellwood is fat joke here>

The Infirmary

Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Daniel Winnik arm 12/27/2009
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009

Vancouver Canucks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Johnson foot 12/29/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Alexandre Bolduc shoulder 10/30/2009