The Arizona Coyotes are ending their five game home stand against the Chicago Blackhawks. Can the Coyotes keep up the good things they’ve worked on going into tonight’s game in what will likely be a rocking Gila River Arena?
View From Chicago
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The Blackhawks have been up and down this season, as they do. They are currently second in the Central behind a ridiculous Minnesota team. They are coming off of a 3-1 loss to San Jose from Tuesday.
Chicago is on a three game losing streak and are 5-5-0 in their last ten games. This is the part of the season where they tend to slow down before making it into the playoffs and going on a deep run.
Corey Crawford has been marked to defend the net tonight for the Hawks. Crawford is 7-2-2 against Arizona in his career, but has a 2.88 GAA and a .890 save percentage in those games.
View From Arizona
The Coyotes are going to look to push back after a heartbreaking loss to the Kings. Having played one of their best all around games in a long time, they have a lot to look forward to in the future.
The fourth line seemed to the be line on fire on Tuesday, maybe the rest of the team will wake up as they go into the February stretch of games going into trade deadline.
Equally important, the defense is finally starting to settle down. Luke Schenn has established himself as a good partner for Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Jakob Chychrun is finding his game, and is still very impressive for an 18 year old rookie defenseman.
1. Can they crack the Blackhawks? The Coyotes have two modes when they play Chicago, kick their teeth in or have their teeth kicked in. Earlier this season the Coyotes went with the latter the first time around. The Coyotes have been playing better as of late, but the Hawks also are on a three game losing streak.
2. Can the Coyotes beat Crawford? Corey Crawford has either been outstanding, good or okay. He has a .918 with a 2.55 goals against. He is 18-12-3 but he also has the Chicago defense in front of him. It all depends on which Crawford shows up tonight.
3. Will The Coyotes keep making progress? Even though the Coyotes are having a season that can be considered a write off, they are making progress. Losing in a heartbreaker on Tuesday, they outplayed the Kings for a good portion of the game.
Players the Watch
Blackhawks – Corey Crawford. Crawford allowed 2 goals on 26 shots on Tuesday against the Sharks. He will be looking for a bounce back game against the Coyotes. Will he prove that he is one of the best in the league or falter.
Coyotes – Alexander Burmistrov. Burmistrov is starting to show that he has the mind to be an extremely effective offensive ability, but not the line mates on Tuesday, to come through with it. Keep an eye out on this still underrated pick up for the Coyotes, he could have something special up his sleeve.
Marcus Kruger has been ill, but they reported on Wednesday that he should be good to go again the Coyotes tonight. Michal Rozsival is out for two to three weeks with a lower body injury, but he has been out of the line up more than in for the Hawks this season.
Max Domi is now considered day to day and could make his return tonight against the Blackhawks. Brad Richardson is still rehabbing his leg, but skating and testing for the first time on Monday, a little of two months from injury is a good sign that he could be back for at least some part of the end of the season.
Tonight’s game will begin at 7 PM Arizona time and will be airing on Fox Sports Arizona and ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.