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Phoenix Coyotes at Vancouver Canucks - Game #45 Preview - Kill Willy!

Kyle Wellwood (Front) is forcibly removed from a Vancouver beach after gorging himself at a local Tim Horton's.
Kyle Wellwood (Front) is forcibly removed from a Vancouver beach after gorging himself at a local Tim Horton's.

Hey, we just played these guys! I remember hating them a whole hell of a lot after the last game. In fact, I can't remember hating a team more after a game in recent memory. Even worse than after that Red Wings crapfest. We WON that last game against the and I still hated the Canucks. Their fans at our arena were annoying. Their player hitting ours were annoying. The getting away with penalties was annoying. All that and yet we still managed to beat them with Jason LaBarbera in goal. Ilya Bryzgalov will likely get the green light for tonight, but here's to hoping that this one is a Coyotes W and that we don't take this into overtime for the Canucks to get any points.

Five for Winning

Stay Chippy
That last game with the Canucks was one of the chippier games I've seen out of the Coyotes this year. There weren't really any fights, but a couple of Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties started the game and then the Referees just didn't do anything about the continual extra crap. They'd get in and break up scrums, but even though fists didn't fly the hits were hard and were happening all the time. We'll have to give back whatever we get to stay in the game emotionally.

Survive Bad Refs
You know that crappy waved off goal and plethora of other missed calls we had the other night? Well we had better be prepared for that all over again as we get the same crew with the exception of one of the linemen. Stephen Walkom and Ian Walsh apparently went to the Mick McGeough school of refereeing so hopefully they're blind toward the other side of the rink tonight.

Who's Roll Will Keep Going?
The Coyotes have been rolling for the majority of the season. While November may have been difficult, even then the team was putting good runs together. 6-2-2- over the last ten isn't too shabby, but the Canucks have gotten points in the last 7 games, with the Coyotes game on Dec. 29th the only one that they ended up getting the OTL in. The key to being the one that keeps rolling for the Coyotes is to stay in their system and not let the Canucks get goals in bunches.

Our D vs. Their O
The Coyotes are one of the stingiest teams in the league when it comes to goals thanks to Ilya Bryzgalov and Dave Tippets defensive system. Tonight we get one of the more offensively talented teams, at least over the last while. Henrik Sedin is tied with Joe Thornton for the league lead in points with 58 and other on the Canucks can turn it on as well with Alex Burrow getting a Hat Trick the other night against the Blue Jackets. Our defense will need to be on top of it's game to keep the Nucks in check.

Injury List Is Shorter
One positive is that the Coyotes Injury list is shrinking by the Day. Kurt Sauer is still out til who knows when, but Vernon Fiddler was back against the Oilers and tonight Daniel Winnik return from his "upper body injury." Earlier in the day it looked like Martin Hanzal might not have been playing either, but reports have him at the morning skate and ready to go. Todd Walsh, FSN reporter, said on his twitter account that there would likely be a "surprising scratch" that many fans are predicting will be Robert Lang who has not been at the top of his game lately. With us carrying as many centers as we are at the moment, that wouldn't be all that shocking.

Key Players

Ed Jovanovski

#55 / Defenseman / Phoenix Coyotes



Jun 26, 1976


Wow is that a terrible picture. I didn't even pick that one... Anyhow, Jovanovski has been absolutely wrecking people with his hitting lately. That'll be important against this former team tonight as the December 29th game should still be fresh in everyone's mind and getting statements out early will be key.

Henrik Sedin

#33 / Center / Vancouver Canucks



Sep 26, 1980

Hank Sedin is tied in the league in points. I guess he's important. Though I think we can hold him to 0-0-0.

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

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kevin Bieksa ankle 12/30/2009
Ryan Johnson foot 12/23/2009
Pavol Demitra shoulder 09/14/2009