O leader of the National Hockey League, you were caught sleeping;
the owners you chose years ago, you have now disgraced.
Coyotes fans are scattered all around
with no one to gather them.
Nothing can heal this wound;
the injury is fatal.
Everyone who hears this news readies himself
to clap his hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
your endless cruelty?
Phoenix Coyotes (13-9-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (9-11-3)
Rexall Place, 7:00 P.M. MDT
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Oilers have needed to deal with a lot of injuries so far this season but so have the Coyotes. Their defence in particular is banged up with their top three defenders out of the lineup (Jovanvoski, Michalek and Sauer). This may give the Oilers some extra chances in the Coyotes end of the ice but should also serve as a warning for those of us who would like to use injuries as a reason for the Oilers having troubles. Is it factor? Certainly. Is it unique? Despite the number of man-games lost I'd have to say no and some of the other teams that have experienced similar injury problems have managed to do better. Back to the Coyotes. They're a much better team than I'd given them credit for at the start of the year and I think some of that is likely coaching. The new man in the desert is Dave Tippett who's doing an excellent job coaching a lot of quality depth players who have more glove than bat (to use a baseball analogy). Or something like that. When you see the lineup and then look at the record, it just seems inexplicable. At any rate, with so many defenders out of the lineup look for the Coyote forwards to help the defence deep in the zone when (or, since they're playing the Oilers, if) they get into trouble, which could open things up for the Oilers defence to get in on the scoring.
Edmonton Oilers (9-11-3):
Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Reddox - Brule - O'Sullivan
Moreau - Potulny - Cogliano
Jacques - Gagner - Stortini
Staios - Souray
Smid - Visnovsky
Strudwick - Gilbert
Phoenix Coyotes (13-9-1)
Upshall - Lang - Doan
Prucha - Hanzal - Vrbata
Pyatt - Lombardi - Mueller
Winnik - Fiddler - Bissonnette
Yandle - Schlemko
Vandermeer - Aucoin
Lepisto - Heshka
Behind the Numbers:
- Shane Doan leads the Coyotes in scoring with only 16 points in 23 games. The Oilers have three players with 16 points or more (Penner, Hemsky, Visnovsky).
- The Coyotes are ranked 11th in the league in shot differential at +2.0 shots per game. No one has taken fewer shot per game and maintained a better shot differential than the Coyotes (28.9 shots for 26.9 shots against).
The Coyotes record in regulation time is 10-9-4 and 4-5-1 over their last ten games. The Oilers record is 7-11-5 and 2-6-2 over their last ten games.
- The Prucha-Lang-Vrbata trio was together for a long time getting easier matchups and cherry starting positions (they had each taken about 20 more o-zone draws than d-zone draws), but they weren't providing enough offence so it seems that Tippett has decided to switch things up over the last couple of games. It will be fun to see how he matches up with Quinn's "roll them over the boards" strategy.