Monday, March 05, 2012

Game #65 - vs Phoenix Coyotes

2011-12 Game 65

Phoenix Coyotes (33-23-9, 75 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (38-21-5, 81 points)

30 goals for this guy.  Also - Pinnacle has some really different photos in their set.  I like the different shots they get.

Why does it matter?

The Penguins have somehow found their way to the #2 spot in the points race in the East.  They can't enjoy it, however, with New Jersey and Philadelphia breathing down their necks.  Earning two points before moving on to some tougher Eastern Conference opponents is key.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Five in a row after kicking the stuffing out of the Avalanche on Saturday.
  • Coyotes - After winning six in a row, the Coyotes have lost two in a row, both at home, including their most recent debacle against the Blue Jackets.
Questions to be answered
  • Who are these guys?  Ray Whitney a +23 with 59 points?  Radim Vrbata has 30 goals and is a +21?
  • Anyone call Cal O'Reilly?  He spent 23 games with the Coyotes this season and could probably lend some insight.
  • Will the secondary guys keep scoring?  This could be the biggest factor in the Pens' chances for continues success.  Teams are going to focus on Geno more and more, so the other guys will need to get used to stepping up.
Keys to the game
  • Thank the Blue Jackets.  Seriously - they softened up the Avs and we saw what happened in Colorado. Now they've worked their magic on the Coyotes.  Let's hope for a similar result (though I think this one will be tougher).
  • Don't be afraid of the power play.  The Coyotes power play is woeful (though they have scored on the power play in each of the past two games).
  • Kennedy.  Tyler Kennedy is a game-time decision.  He would add some more speed and shooting to the third line.

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