Looking at the Phoenix Coyotes

Phoenix Coyotes: 5-2-0 10 pts

Key Wins: 3-0 over Pittsburgh (Penguins only loss thus far), 1-0 and 3-2 over San Jose, 4-0 over Boston

With an off-season of highly publicized turmoil surrounding the front office woes and the Jim Balsillie bid for the team, not much was expected out of the team from the majority of the outsider opinions. Add in the resignation of one of the game's greatest players in Wayne Gretzky from his head coaching position, and expectation were lowered even further. In steps former Dallas coach Dave Tippett to fill the coaching void and bring a new attitude to the team. 

Category Stat NHL Rank Leading… Stat Player
Goals per game 2.43   20th Scorer (Points) 6 (1 G, 5 A) Shane Doan
Goals Against per game 1.43   1st +/- +4 Aucoin/Vandermeer
Power play 20.6%   17th Hits 17 James Vandermeer
Penalty kill 84%   11th PIM 23 Martin Hanzal
Shots per game 30.7   17th Shots 32 Ratim Vrbata
Shots against per game 26.9   6th Blocked Shots 9 Aucoin/Jovanovski
Faceoff percentage 52.8%   7th Faceoffs 61.7% Vernon Fiddler
PIM per game 11.9   13th Wins 5 Ilya Bryzgalov
PP drawn 34   10th GAA 1.14 Ilya Bryzgalov

Ilya Bryzgalov has found a home in Phoenix as the starting goalie and has proved he is more than capable. He can shut the door on the best of teams on any given night and its helps that the defense around him is limiting the number of shots he has to face. With a good faceoff percentage and a tough defense, the Coyotes present real problems for this Red Wings team. 

Players to watch on offense: Shane Doan, Peter Mueller, Petr Prucha

Players to watch on defense: Ed Jovanovski, Adrian Aucoin

Five For Howling is the SBNation affiliate for the Coyotes. Check 'em out.

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