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Phoenix Coyotes at Atlanta Thrashers - Game #69 Preview - Dog > Bird

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Well it's certainly a quick turn around for the Phoenix Coyotes as they play the Atlanta Thrashers today at 2pm our time after finishing up with the Hurricanes at 7:30 last night. That's just barely outside of the minimum time allowed for a back to back in the CBA, but the guys will have to pretend like they're completely rested. 

The Coyotes will carry the momentum of a shutout win over the Hurricanes into this afternoon's game, but they'll try to do it with backup Jason LaBarbera in in relief. LaBarbera hasn't had an outstanding season per se, but when he's scheduled to play instead of just getting a game because Bryz is having an off day he tends to do pretty well. Hopefully we see the LaBarbera that's capable of stonewalling a team and not the spaztastic one that misses simple saves. IT also helps when we're not allowing breakaway chances to doom him though.

The Thrashers were in the playoff race for the first half of the season or so, but have tapered off of late. They've lost their last 5 games and are only 4-9 since the beginning of February. Not good news for a team that much like the Coyotes could really use a playoff run this year. 

STARTING GOALTENDERS


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Jason LaBarbera 13 674 5 4 25 2.23 331 306 .924 0

In LaBarbera's last start, all the way back on February 3rd, he did a solid job of stifling the Chicago Blackhawks to get a 2-1 in the shootout. he made 28 saves on 29 shots in that outing with the Coyotes playing solidly in front of him. It seems like everytime he plays the most important part of the game is about the first ten minutes or so. If he can make a big stop or two early the team in front relaxes and can play their game rather than worrying about making saves themselves.


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Ondrej Pavelec 36 1953 12 16 113 3.47 1144 1031 .901 2

While it's certainly possible that Johan Hedberg gets the start, he's been shaky the last couple of games so I'd go with Pavelec tonight. He doesn't have the best numbers either if you look at the GAA and sv%, but Someone has to find a streak for them right?

KEY PLAYERS


Lee "Desert Ninja" Stempniak

#22 / Right Wing / Phoenix Coyotes

6-0

195

Feb 04, 1983


YEah. He's just on firs since coming from Toronto. 5 goals and an assist in 4 games since the deadline? I mean what do you say to that? I thought Wolski was supposed to be the steal, but the Ninja is just finding the back of the net right now and playing exceptionally well. 


Chris Chelios

#24 / Defenseman / Atlanta Thrashers

6-0

191

Jan 25, 1962


Chelios is old. There I said it. I know people have been tiptoeing around his age issue, but he's really old! He is logging a decent amount of ice time on the 3rd pairing with 14 minutes a game so far. 

THE INFIRMARY


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kurt Sauer head 10/07/2009
Scottie Upshall knee 01/29/2010


Atlanta Thrashers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Zach Bogosian hand 03/13/2010

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Boris Valabik knee 02/06/2010