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Phoenix Coyotes @ Vancouver Canucks Preview: Barbs' Night

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Tonight the streaking Phoenix Coyotes will be facingoff against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena at 8:00pm Arizona time. This will be the first time that the Yotes will be playing the Canucks away, and their second time playing the Northwest Conference leaders. The first meeting did not end well for the Desert Dogs. The Coyotes are hoping to get their sixth win a row, they are currently in their longest winning streak of the season.

The Vancouver Canucks have a very impressive season, they are 15-6-4 at home and they have not lost a game in regulation since the All-Star Break. They are coming off a shoot out loss to Calgary last Saturday and they are hoping to get back on the winning streak. Vancouver is boasting the best power play in the league, which has helped them lead the their division by 14 points.

The Yotes have been very impressive winning their past 5 games in a row, including their shut out victory their last game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Although they currently have the 8th place spot in the West, Calgary, Colorado and Dallas are biting at their heels. They are going to need a win to keep their control over the spot, and hopefully move up against L.A. and Chicago. During this season the Yotes have been 13-11-4 for away games, and they have been good on the penalty kill, ranking 8th in the NHL with a percentage of 84.2%.

Five For Winning

1. Don't take penalties. This should go without saying but you don't want the team with the best PP in the league on the power play.

2. Keep it in regulation. Honestly the Yotes don't have to worry much about giving the Canucks points, I doubt they will be competing with them for a spot, but the Canucks have been great in overtime and on shoot outs so they shouldn't let it get that far especially if they want 2 points.

3. Get an early lead and don't let up. This was what was lacking the last game against Vancouver . . . scoring. They are going to need to avenge the 5-0 loss by getting on the board and keeping a lead.

4. Control the neutral zone. The Coyotes have been great doing this the past couple games and it is one of the contributing factors to their success. If you control the neutral zone you limit the Vancouver offense and generate some of your own.

5. Shoot every puck. The Desert Dogs have an average of 3.4 goals during their last 5 games and one of the reason seems to be that they are shooting more then they had been. They need to keep this up.

Key Players:

Ray Whitney

#13 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes



May 08, 1972

G A P +/- PIM
2011 - Ray Whitney 16 35 51 19 24

The Coyotes point leader is currently on a 8 game point streak. Hopefully he can get another point, maybe with a nice pass to Radim Vrbata or a goal himself.

David Booth

#7 / Left Wing / Vancouver Canucks



Nov 24, 1984

G A P +/- PIM
2011 - David Booth 9 12 21 -5 21

Booth scored against Phoenix last time and he has been hot since coming back from his knee injury with 4 goals and 4 assists in 10 games.

Starting Goalies:

Jason LaBarbera

#1 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Jan 18, 1980

2011 - Jason LaBarbera 15 770 3 7 35 2.73 386 351 .909 0

Its been announced that Barbs will be the Yotes starting goalie tonight.

Roberto Luongo

#1 / Goalie / Vancouver Canucks



Apr 04, 1979

2011 - Roberto Luongo 38 2213 22 10 88 2.39 1093 1005 .919 2

Vancouver is probably going to go with their starting goalie who has been great since the break with a record of 4-0-2.


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
David Schlemko foot 01/08/2012

Vancouver Canucks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Dale Weise foot 02/13/2012
Keith Ballard other-excused 02/13/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrew Ebbett collarbone 01/08/2012
Chris Higgins other-illness 02/02/2012
Steve Pinizzotto shoulder 09/27/2011
Aaron Volpatti shoulder 12/02/2011

As always head over to Nucks Misconduct for their side of the game, because there is nothing we love more in Phoenix than reading how Canadians feel about Phoenix having a hockey team.