View from Arizona
The Coyotes are in a funk and can’t seem to kick it. They played hard against the Canucks and just couldn’t convert.
The Yotes have been struggling mightily this season on defense and on offense, which is death to a hockey team. They need to shore up their defense and their transition game, and that is going to be hard to do with Anthony DeAngelo out of the line up.
If the Coyotes can get their offense going, they might be able to jump on an up and down Anaheim team. Alexander Burmistrov has joined the team, but it is unsure if he will play with the team tonight.
View from Anaheim
For more on the Anaheim Ducks, check out Anaheim Calling
Rumors of the demise of the Anaheim Ducks appear to be greatly exaggerated... even though they get out shot to blood and still win games. Randy Carlyle’s ‘system’ seems to be back in place.
Even with that, the Ducks are now second in the Pacific sitting at 20-12-8. John Gibson has shown the Ducks that he was the right goalie to keep versus Frederik Andersen, but they have a stable backup in Jonathan Bernier as well.
- Will the defense stabilize? - The Coyotes have been struggling mightily this season with their backend. They have alternated scratches, line combinations, and seven defensemen. Oliver Ekman-Larsson seems to have something wrong with him and the revolving door of defensive partners hasn’t helped either.
- Will the veterans start to help out again? - Arizona’s older players need to start being their old selves of this will be an even longer season than it already has been.
- Can the Coyotes win? - We just don’t know. On paper, the Coyotes should have more wins, but they do need to start winning or they could have a 10 game losing streak going into the bye week.
Players to Watch
Arizona - Mike Smith - I would look for Smith to have a bounce back game after the showing in Vancouver. He has been playing out of his mind this season, and keeping the team in games on a regular basis.
Anaheim - Hampus Lindholm - The Swedish defenseman has been very quiet since he came back to the Ducks after holding out on his contract at the start of the season. He is a work horse on their blueline, and could start heating up at any time.
Brad Richardson is out for an indefinite period of time after breaking two bones in his leg earlier this season, while Max Domi remains on injured reserve after undergoing hand surgery. Ryan White has been moved to injured reserve and is not expected to play tonight, while Anthony DeAngelo will not be eligible to return from suspension until January 13th.
The Ducks may be without their Captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who is day to day with a lower body injury. On the injured reserve they also have Clayton Stoner with a lower body injury, Simon Despres and Nic Kerdiles are out with concussion-like symptoms and Nathan Thompson is still recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.
Tonight’s game begins at 8 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.