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Phoenix Coyotes at Ottawa Senators - Game 8 Preview

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Well at least we're on a point per game pace right? Ech. The Coyotes once again made a comeback and then found a way to cough up the game in overtime last night. Not cool guys. These were games they found ways to win last year and it's already cost them 3 points! I'm not panicking, but come on, get this train back on the tracks amigos. On the bright side of things it looks like Kyle Turris has come out of his shell to be an NHL player. With another goal last night he's got 4 points in the last two games. Hopefully he can at least keep up the good play if not a point streak

The Senators aren't starting the season off all that great either. With a 2-5-1 record they've struggled to find the back of the net even more than the Coyotes have. In 8 games they've gotten only 16 goals and have given up 26. They've faced some decent competition in those games however facing Buffalo and Montreal twice but they've looked fairly unimpressive overall. Picking up two points tonight and shaking the funk our team is in would be a welcome happening. 

Five for Winning

Defense first: The Coyotes seem to keep burning themselves by getting the defense a little too involved on the offensive side of things. Sure we did well with that last year, but now I keep seeing dmen down below the goal line. It's led to several odd man rushes, forwards having to take penalties to keep goals from being scored and several goals. I like the defense to get involved at times, but do your job first and pick your spots offensively.

Power Play still stinks: Despite Derek Morris' goal on the PP last night we looked terrible the majority of the time. Twice Ray Whitney took penalties at the point because a pass was bungled or someone else tipped it out of the zone on a bad pass. This has got to be solved and fast. Not scoring on it is one thing, giving the other team legitimate scoring chances in unacceptable.

Shoot?: There were rumors that  Radim Vrbata would be seeing time in the press box tonight as Shane Doan returns to the lineup, those have now been reported as false. However they came about though because while Vrbata hasn't been bad, but he has been invisible. There have been several times when he should have taken open shots but instead tried to make passes or got jammed up. Normally he's a fairly free shooting forward so not entirely sure what the issue is. Maybe a game out will do him good.

The Captain Returns: Shane Doan returns to the lineup after serving his 3 game suspension for the Dan Sexton hit. Hopefully his energy will the the Coyotes some good as they could use a little extra spark. From his comments to the media he wasn't happy with sitting out and just wanted to get back to play. 

Backup the Backup: Jason LaBarbera will be in net for the Coyotes tonight on the second of the back-to-back games. The Coyotes played well in front of him last season and seemed to step things up when he was in for whatever reason. He may not be the starter, but he did show he was more than capable of winning a game when called upon.

Key Players


Ray Whitney

#13 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

5-10

180

May 08, 1972


With injuries to start the season he's gotten off to a bit of a shaky start. he needs to channel that inner wizard and start creating the plays he was brought in to make. 


Daniel Alfredsson

#11 / Right Wing / Ottawa Senators

5-11

200

Dec 11, 1972


Leading the Senators with 4-4-8 he's the main weapon for them at the moment. Without big Martin Hanzal to shutdown his line the Coyotes need a plan B.

Injuries


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Martin Hanzal other-excused 10/18/2010


Ottawa Senators Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Filip Kuba leg 10/06/2010
Pascal Leclaire groin 10/15/2010