"What can I do with you Mr. Manager?
And what about you Mr. Dithers?
Your savvy is like a morning mist,
present in the early hours and then quickly gone forever!"
"And so the prophets of the Oilogosphere have torn you to shreds!
Outwitted by jerks behind computers! How embarassing!
Like a pack of Coyotes with fresh meat, they have pounced on your incompetence!"
Edmonton Oilers (18-33-6) @ Phoenix Coyotes (35-19-5)
Jobing.com Arena, 7:30 P.M. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Phoenix Coyotes are a good team this year and I don't know anyone who predicted it. They're outperforming their goal differential at the moment thanks to a very strong record in one-goal games, so they may not be as good as they're record suggests, but they've also been able to outshoot opponents on the year so it's not like their success is a mirage. I don't know how much credit goes to Dave Tippett on turning this club around but at the moment I'm going to say A LOT.
The man that changed in the off-season was not the general manager. Dave Tippett was hired on September 24th 2009. On September 29th the Coyotes signed center Robert Lang who was a sign of thigns to come. Last year's "promising" rookies were sent down to the farm. Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris, Viktor Tikhonov, Kevin Porter... Last year, those four played a total of 236 games. This year? 16. Maybe it was Tippett that decided that youth shouldn't be served, maybe it was Maloney. I imagine it was a decision they made together and it has certainly worked out for the better.
Tippett has also been very aggressive on the bench, moving certain players into clear "defensive" roles (Fiddler, Winnik, Hanzal, Michalek, Jovanovski) and other into clear "offensive" and/or "protected" roles (Mueller, Lang, Lombardi, Yandle, Lepisto). Certain players have been better than expected (Jovanovski) but I think a lot of credit should go to Dave Tippett for finding roles for his players. The majority of them are finding ways to succeed.
Edmonton Oilers (18-33-6):
Penner - Pouliot - Nilsson
M(ake room in the pressbox)? - H(ave a seat)? - Pi(sitting)? - Co(uld be out)?
O'Sullivan - Potulny - Brule
Jacques - Cogliano - Stortini
Acid - Chloroform
Czecho - Slovakia
Steady - Steadier
Shoving it up Backsides
Phoenix Coyotes (35-19-5)
Mueller - Lombardi - Doan
Vrbata - Hanzal - Prucha
Pyatt - Lang - Korpikoski
Winnik - Fiddler - Bissonnette
Michalek - Jovanovski
Yandle - Lepisto
Vandermeer - Aucoin
Behind the Numbers:
- The Coyotes just had a six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars. Coming into tonight they've won three in a row at home and have a very strong record at home overall (21-8-2). the Oilers, meanwhile, have won fewer road games than any team in the NHL with a total of seven. And this team won five road games in a row. Aside from that streak the Oilers are 2-17-2 on the road.
- The Phoenix Coyotes have a record of 15-15 in games decided by more than one goal, not an especially impressive total. On the bright side, they're very likely going to be able to improve on that total tonight.
- is a better player than he's shown so far this seasonGabe Desjardins