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Coyotes Ups and Downs: March 30 Edition

Well, the Phoenix Coyotes are pushing towards the postseason and their odds according to my favorite website for this type of thing are 98.4% to make the playoffs. Not too shabby. Another win almost guarantees a spot, and two or three more should lock them in to home ice.

It was a good week for the Coyotes since we last checked in with wins against Columbus and Dallas. Their disappointing loss to San Jose with the various players injured wasn't too pretty, but I missed a good bit of that game anyways, so it won't get quite as much focus.

As we do every Wednesday, join us after the jump for a look at who's trending up, trending down and sitting in neutral.

And here we go:

Goalies Trend Notes
Ilya Bryzgalov Bryz is clearly the MVP of this team and his play all week was phenomenal, with the exception of his game against San Jose. Although the goal to Jamie Benn wasn't pretty last night, his other 44 saves and stellar shootout performance was. It's par for the course right now for the Russian Bear, and the Coyotes need him to keep playing this well the rest of the way. Bryz set a career high for saves and tied the franchise record for wins over a career. Need we say more.
Jason LaBarbera The great irony could be that Barbs' final start of the season would be against the Avs on Friday on Ilya Bryzgalov Bobblehead Night. I'm not sure that Barbs will get that start, but it would be a bit funny.
Adrian Aucoin Oakie hasn't recorded a point since March 13 (a span of 8 games) and was a -2 in the game against the Sharks. He's still playing tough defensive minutes, and generally playing them solidly, but it would be nice to see a few blasts from the point get him on the score sheet.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Nothing to trend on here as OEL has been relegated to the press box where he will likely remain unless there is an injury. Frustrating the way the kid got treated this year, and one hopes he just realizes how big a piece of the future he is here and that the playing time will come.
Ed Jovanovski Still no definitive word on Jovo, but I know he's practicing. The team has been getting the job done, but I want Jovo's physicality in the postseason.
Rostislav Klesla Klesla still doesn't have a point since his first game with the Coyotes and was a -3 against the Sharks. I still think he's been a good pick-up, but he's another guy that it would be nice to see him pick up a point every now and then.
Derek Morris DMo had a nice goal against the Blue Jackets following a rush and potting a rebound, and an assist against the Sharks (and finished that game a +1). I really feel as if he's healed up from some nagging injury because this is not the DMo that played the first several months of the season. This DMo, I'm happy we have signed for several more years.
Michal Rozsival Rozsival also scored in the Columbus game and an assist last night against the Stars. He's played more than 20 minutes per game over the last two and has been another solid GMDM pick-up especially considering that Wolski is now spending his nights in the press box at MSG.
Kurt Sauer Yeah, he's probably not playing this year and I should remove him.
David Schlemko An important "power play" goal last night that turned out to be crucial and an assist against Columbus. Nothing flashy from Schlem - some offensive rushes that are nice, some defensive lapses that are less nice.
Keith Yandle Yandle recorded 5 shots in each of the games this week, including some great opportunities. He only recorded a single assist, but he did finish the week a +3 including +1 in 26 minutes of ice time against San Jose. Kid's a star and should still be in the Norris discussion despite his point production cooling.
Eric Belanger Not scoring the same points he was earlier in the month, but he's playing solid hockey in all three zones while putting up d-man like minutes (over 22 last night against Dallas). Belanger looks comfortable in that unit with Doan, and I can't wait for the two of them to get rolling in the playoffs.
Paul Bissonnette BizNasty hadn't been fighting as much, but he has 4 fights in his last 3 games and he had a fairly high almost 8 minutes of ice time against San Jose, recording two shots. With all the injuries, the team has looked flat at times recently and BizNasty has been doing his job getting them going.
Mikkel Boedker The young Dane is getting steady ice time and has made it count with another pair of goals this week, including the lone tally against San Jose. He was +3 on the week and is starting to play better in his defensive end as well.
Shane Doan Doan also isn't scoring as many points as he was earlier this month, with just the single assist for the week. However, playing almost 23 minutes per game with the intensity that he is playing is unreal - I think he's ready for the playoffs. As Heeter said last night, it seemed that Doan was not going to be satisfied unless the Coyotes could beat the Stars twice last night and he was determined to make that happen.
Andrew Ebbett Ebbett saw a season-high 17:22 of ice time last night. And the reason he's seeing so much time (because it's not his point production which was at null for the week) is that he is winning faceoffs - 76.9% last night and 60% against San Jose the night before. If he keeps doing that, he'll keep getting playing time.
Vernon Fiddler Fiddy missed a game this week with an undisclosed upper body injury but he was back in the lineup against the Stars playing his typically tenacious game and looking no worse for the wear. He had an assist against Columbus and was +2 for the week.
Martin Hanzal Still no word on Marty, but he's been a sorely missed during this recent stretch. Hopefully whatever is ailing him will be cured by the time the playoffs are here.
Ryan Hollweg Hollweg was an emergency call-up for Saturday night with all the injuries and earned himself another night on the ice with his intense play and big hits which he continued last night.
Lauri Korpikoski Another guy that the Coyotes can ill afford to have on the sidelines because he just does everything for this team, including scoring goals and killing penalties, two things they aren't exactly excelling at over the last two games. Get healthy Korpedo, and fast.
Brett MacLean Brett's been scoreless in his last 7 games and his ice time hasn't been great. Tip has a tendency not to trust kids who may not be the best defenders and in this stretch run, MacLean and Turris are going to be the biggest sufferers for that.
Taylor Pyatt Pyatt only had a single point this week, but he did play some big minutes (almost 20 per game) and rang a few shots off the pipes. He was whistled for a questionable goalie incidental contact call last night that cost the Coyotes a goal, but it's good to see him keep going in those dirty areas.
Lee Stempniak Lee hasn't scored since his three game goal streak was snapped, although he should have had one last night that was waved off for the Pyatt contact (thanks, Stephen Walkom - I'm watching you!). That being said, Lee's six shots were a good sign and hopefully he's holding off getting too hot until the first round starts.
Kyle Turris Turris' productivity improves significantly the more ice time he gets...despite that he keeps getting low amounts (like the 3:36 he received last night). I don't really get why Tip won't give him some more offensive zone draws, but he just needs to keep plodding away. Had an assist on the Boedker goal against San Jose and was even for the week.
Radim Vrbata Vrby is also shooting a bit more (which is a good thing), and although he didn't score an actual goal last night, his shootout tally (that automatic forehand backhand roof shot) was key to the Coyotes getting two much needed points. Personally, I'm just happy his knee is in one piece after he took a rough knee-on-knee hit last night but returned to the game and seemed ok by the end.
Ray Whitney Just realized how negative or neutral I'm recording the team for the week. Really, it's been all goaltending, so I guess that's not much of a surprise that despite going 2-1-0, there's not a ton of praise. Whitney's "heavy wrist shot" was the game winner in the shootout last night, but he still needs to take more shots in the game and stop looking for the perfect pass as he recorded only a single shot the last two games.