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Coyotes vs. Senators - Game Preview #29

Spartacat? Really? This looks like some sort of high lion. Random drug test!
Spartacat? Really? This looks like some sort of high lion. Random drug test!



The Coyotes try to extend their winning streak to 4 games tonight as the Ottawa Senators visit Jobing.com Arena for a late 8:00 start for some reason. We're not on Hockey Night in Canada so I don't understand the lateness if we're aren't showing up the Sens on National TV.

Unfortunately some of our divisional rivals have already gotten some pity points today, so we need to make up for it and kick some Senatass!

FIVE FOR WINNING

Take Advantage of the Sens Goaltending
With Pascal LeClaire on the shelf the Senators have been leaning on backup Brian Elliot to keep the season going. On the current road trip it really hasn't gone that well for them as they've gone 0-2-1 and got shelled after coming out to the West Coast. They lost 5-2 to the Sharks followed by a 6-3 loss to the Kings on Thursday. Prior to that he hadn't fared all that badly, but now has a 3.03 GAA and a .895 save percentage. With the Coyotes stingy defense 3 goals could be plenty.

Jovanovski Back in the Lineup
Looks like Ed Jovanoski will be back in the line up for the first time since November 27th when he came back for a couple of games after being out for most of the month. The Coyotes miss his defense, but more importantly his offense which he seems to have re-discovered this year. Jovo has 13 points in 18 games so far this year with 5 goals. Before his injury he was starting to get some power play time with him parked near the net that was really disrupting opposing PK units. Hopefully there's not much rust to knock off and he gets back to for soon.

Which Brother Will Be Victorious?
Milan Michalek and his brother Zbynek Michalek will meet for the first time since Milan was traded to Ottawa in the Dany Heatley trade. They always seem to play well against each other, but we need Zbynek  to be the better Michalek tonight, especially on defense as his brother has four goals over the last three games, even though those have all been losses. 

Get Hitting!
With an already thin defensive core, defenseman Alex Piccard was taken out of the game against the kings after a hit by Dustin Brown. Pair that with the fact that the big hitter for Ottawa, Chris Neal, is out until likely the middle of the month and we'll see a team that can be pushed around a little in terms of hitting them consistently when they touch the puck. The team isn't riddled with injuries, just at key positions and to important guys.

Be Consistent on the Power Play
During the last game fans watch the Coyotes constantly passed back and forth and cycled on both 5-on-4 and 5-on-3 chances without a lot of results. They would mishandle the puck, step on the puck, kick the puck, etc. The team would tic tac it at the points, but couldn't get the puck anywhere near the slot because of the bobbles. The whole point of the passing back and forth is to pull a guy out of position and get behind him. The Coyotes just seem to be passing for the sake of passing. Make something happen guys!

Key Players


Daniel Winnik

#34 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes

6-2

210

Mar 06, 1985


Daniel Winnik may not be getting goals or points or be the driving force on the offense, but lately he's been everywhere on the ice defensively. When I watch games on TV he gets noticed by both our home announce team and by the opposition as a player that along with his linemates Vernon Fiddler and Taylor Pyatt are just pains for the opposition to play against. He's been handing out hits and making all the little plays that help prevent goals and get wins.


Brian Elliott

#30 / Goalie / Ottawa Senators

6-2

201

Apr 09, 1985


Like I said earlier, he's filling in for the injured Pascal LeClaire and the Sensators will live or die based on his performance in goal. Sure the defense gets some of the credit for the goals against over the past few games, but if we let Elliot get comfortable in the crease he'll be the one that caries the team. If he's soft he'll be the goat that the loss gets hung on.

The Owie List


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ed Jovanovski other-excused 12/05/2009
Peter Mueller other-excused 12/05/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer other-excused 10/07/2009


Ottawa Senators Injuries

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Alexandre Picard other-excused 12/05/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Shean Donovan knee 11/20/2009
Pascal Leclaire jaw 11/24/2009