The Coyotes are struggling as of late and now they face the first in the Western Conference Chicago Blackhawks, less than 24 hours after their 4-1 loss to Columbus. Mike Smith always shows up for Chicago and usually, so do the Coyotes, but will the team be able to beat them?
View From Chicago
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Chicago has dropped their last two games, and are missing their captain, Jonathan Toews. In their last 10 games the Hawks are 5-4-1. They are a rookie heavy team, like the Coyotes have been this season. Any time the Coyotes play the Hawks, it's either a gong show of a high scoring match or a tight, low scoring game.
This Hawks team is looking to rebound, but with Corey Crawford out for at least two weeks, the Coyotes could pounce on the chance to spoil the top team in the west.
View From Arizona
The Coyotes are going to be a frustrated team coming into tonights game. They are on a four game losing streak, and things seem to be coming to a head. Can they pull out a win in one of the hardest places to play in the NHL? Historically, the teams tend to beat each other to a pulp and who is left standing wins.
The Coyotes need a boost in the worst way right now. Brendan Perlini was injected into the line up, and playing well his first game, maybe this will be the spark they need.
Mike Smith is going to need help from his team if they want him to not lose it on them, like he did shadily in the post game on Saturday against Columbus.
1. Will the Coyotes defense show up tonight? - I know this is a repeat question, but it still stands. The Coyotes are struggingly defensively and Oliver Ekman-Larsson can only do so much for the defense. Something has to change with the defense or this season will be more painful that 2014-15.
2. Will Mike Smith be able to bounce back from the loss against Columbus on Saturday? I believe so. He plays Chicago well.
3. Will Shane Doan hit 400 goals tonight? The selfish part of my says I hope not. He should score it at home. The other part of me says 'do it for the vine' and 'yolo'. Meaning yes, score it against Chicago.
Players to Watch
Arizona-Shane Doan- Doan has always been a slow starter when it comes to scoring. But he is starting to find his game and playing with two line mates that combined are younger than his career at some points, should put a pep in his step.
Chicago-Marian Hossa- There really isn't much to say about Hossa. He continues to be great while he ages.
Arizona - Besides Brad Richardson being out for quite a while with a broken leg the Coyotes are coming into this game with a clean bill of health.
Chicago- The Hawks are without their starting goalie Corey Crawford, who has been sidelined for two to three weeks following an emergency appendectomy on Saturday. They are also without Jonathan Toews, who is on the IR for a back injury he can't seem to shake.
Tonight’s game starts at 6:30pm Arizona time. You can watch it on Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Go or listen to it on KTAR News Radio 92.3 FM