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Phoenix Coyotes vs. New York Islanders - Game Preview #46 - Fishy Smell


The New York Islanders conclude their three game Western road trip tonight as they visit the Phoenix Coyotes and the now hostile environment, at what I'm now calling The Den, because I'm done calling it jobing.com Arena.  Why? Because we don't get jobbed there anymore. Needs a more intimidating name. Anyhow, we're taking on the Isles tonight and while their season got of to a promising start, they've been sliding down the Eastern Conference standings and now find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic division. While rookie John Tavares got off to a hot start too, he's likewise cooled off lately with only one point (a goal) in the last 13 games.

The Isles played last night against the Dallas Stars but lost 4-3. It was the first game in a year for Franchise goalie Rick DiPietro who was coming back off his knee injury. He made 24 saves in the outing, but it just wasn't enough. With that start though it's likely we see one of the other two goalies on the roster, probably Dwayne Roloson. Roloson is 5-0-1 in his last 6 starts.

Five for Winning

Start a New Streak
Every preview I've read for this game harps about how the Coyotes HAD a 10 game home winning streak but have been 0-1-1 over the last couple. Okay, so a couple of meh games. Big deal. However with a six game homestand and a LOT of road games coming up after the break we need to get a new roll going. That doesn't mean we have to win all 6, but if we're going to be a .500 team on the road, we need to make up for that at home.

What the What?!
What happened to our Tenacious D last game? We were just standing around looking like spectators against the Canucks. I'm calling out Robert Lang and Taylor Pyatt. As well as Jovo and Zbynek Michalek. They were all a -3! I'm not a big fan of the +/- stat, but when you get 3 against you in a game I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing. Daniel Winnik gets a one game pass for coming back off the IR, but he needs to get back up to speed fast.

Doan.
No really. That's all. Since just before the Canada Olympic Roster announcement, Shane Doan has been playing like a man on a mission . Forgetting the Nucks game, since everyone was terrible, Doan has really picked up the hitting portion of his game and has been finding te net as well. 4 points in the last 6 games with three of those being goals. We're not going to be getting any big name players anytime soon, so he's going to be the one that leads this team, if not in points, then emotionally.

Take Advantage of Special Teams
The Isles rank near the bottom in both the power play and the penalty kill. In both they're 28th in the league at 15.3% and 76.8% respectively. This would be a great time for our lackluster power play to figure out what the heck they need to be doing. e.g. react quickly to passes instead of telegraphing everything.

Stop Pissing Off Bryz!
Seriously. We don't need him getting all inside his own head because the team makes mental errors.That's the crap that happened last year. Focused Bryz is good. Aggressive is fine, but angry doesn't work for the big Russian and if it keeps up his game will deteriorate. Please please please make sure that that effort against the Nucks was a one time thing.

Key Players


Robert Lang

#20 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes

6-3

217

Dec 19, 1970


Seriously man. I already called you out once in this preview. Now I'm doing it again. I'm tired of seeing 75% of your pretty passes just get intercepted. Watching pucks go right through you. Knock the cutesy stuff off or GTFO. I don't want to hear excuses, just get it done old guy.


Kyle Okposo

#21 / Right Wing / New York Islanders

6-1

200

Apr 16, 1988


While John Tavares may be cooling off, linemate Kyle Okposo has started heating up. He's gone 3-3-6 over the last 7 games. We'll need to contain that whole line and not let either of them get going.

 

The Infirmary

Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009
Scottie Upshall other-excused 01/03/2010


New York Islanders Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rick DiPietro knee 01/08/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Sean Bergenheim ribs 12/09/2009
Radek Martinek knee 11/07/2009
Tim Jackman other-excused 01/02/2010