Monday, December 20, 2010

Penguins Gameday #34 (Coyotes)

Penguins (21-10-2, 44pts)

Coyotes (15-9-7, 37 pts)

Where: Consol Energy Center

When: 7:00 ET


The Pens try to snap a 2 game skid Monday night when the Pheonix Coyotes visit the burgh. The Pens defeated the Coyotes back in November 4-3 in a shootout in what may have been the turning point of their season, and also a very important win at the time. I'd watch for lots of shots, transition game, and of course the big Engelland-BizNasty rematch (assuming Bissionette plays).

Opponents to Watch:

Keith Yandle- To compare him to Penguins, he is a hybrid of Letang's speed and Paul Martin's moves, making him very dangerous on the transition and essentially giving the Yotes a 4th forward when he is out on the ice.

Shane Doan- Can't say enough about this guy. Scoring threat, solid checker, usually outworks all of his teammates. The only thing is that he is starting to fall behind the younger guys in terms of speed and creativity.

Wojtek Wolski- Hasn't been playing his best this year, meaning he is certainly due for a good few games. Wolski is probably the best pure shooter on the team.

Win %: 0.597 (14th)
Powerplay: 18.2% (13th)
Penalty Kill: 81.6% (15th)
Goals For: 88 (2.77/game) (18th)
Goals Against: 87 (2.71/game) (9th)
Goals Differential: +1 (17th)
Faceoffs: 52.5% (3rd)
-The Coyotes lead the league in overtime losses with 7.
-Phoenix has given up just 18 first period goals this year.
-Yotes are 3rd from the bottom in blocked shots with 376.

Keys to Victory:

-Bryzgalov is doubtful to play, and Pheonix gives up quite a few shots so the table is set for a big offensive day from the Pens.

-Even though Phoenix doesn't specialize in takeaways, they are still dangerous in transition so puck possession in the neutral zone is critical.

-Phoenix comes up right in the middle for just about every stat in the book. There really isn't one area to put all the eggs into that basket. Balance is the key to winning this one.


-Bryzgalov doubtful for the Coyotes

-Staal and Comrie out. Kunitz doubtful.

-Jeffrey had been sent down, so maybe Godard will be returning to the lineup.

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