Morning Skate: LAST PLEDGE GAME

Telepathic shooting by Henrik Zetterberg.

Today is the last pledge game for The Production Line's pledge drive for Herm 2 Hockeytown 2 so if you've been holding out, get your pledge in before it's too late. Help the kids out, it's for a good cause.

After downing the Kings 7-4, the Wings lost back-to-back games against the Ducks and Sharks. The Ducks and Sharks shut the Wings down on offense and the high-powered offense struggled to get much going against the two teams. The Sharks and Ducks played pretty tight on defense and the Wings had trouble getting good scoring chances at even strength. They need 

The Coyotes have fallen to third in the Pacific Division (pre Dallas/Anaheim game) and are in danger of missing the playoffs if the Ducks and Stars surge. However, this also means that the Coyotes will have more reason to fight the full 60 minutes than the Wings do at this point of the season. 

Phoenix has lost their last five outings, starting with a 8-3 spanking thanks to the Lightning and that game could have been worse as it was like the Red Wings/Kings game in that the last few goals for Phoenix were relatively meaningless. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, they dropped a pair of games to their division rivals Dallas and LA and made things tougher for themselves going towards the playoffs.


Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Martin Hanzal other-excused 03/04/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ed Jovanovski other-excused 02/18/2011

Five For Howling is your SB Nation site.

Follow the jump for the rest of the preview.

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  • Jimmy Howard will probably start in net for the Wings tonight. Howie played great in the last outing (against the Ducks, 2-1 OT loss) and kept it from being a blow out. I'm not sure if he'll have to stand on his head again tonight, but considering the lack of offense lately he may have to again to keep the chances of winning high.
  • I'd guess that Ilya Bryzgalov is starting for the Coyotes. Bryzgalov is terrifying when he's on top of his game, he will make you incredibly pissed off as a fan. At 6'3", he's a big guy in net and that's sometimes the thing that comes back to haunt him as he has some agility issues. However, with that big frame he can make some spectacular saves coming across the crease. The Wings need to try and get him moving but with the struggles connecting on passes lately, that seems easier said than done.
  • Remember this? heehee.
  • Let's see if Coyotes fans are reading and/or paying attention: Jim Balsillie is climbing in your windows, snatching your hockey teams up, trying to relocate them so hide ya Yotes, hide ya Thrashers, and hide yo Panthers cuz they relocating everybody out here.
  • Keith Yandle is one of the frontrunners for the Norris Trophy this year and deservedly so. He's been a big asset for the Yotes and it's crazy to think that he's only 24 years old. Yandle leads the Coyotes in scoring and is their strongest defender as well. Say Lidstrom wasn't in the discussion for Norris, where would you rank Yandle?
  • The Coyotes have spread their scoring very evenly over the whole team. They have 0 scorers with 20 or more goals and no one above 60 points, but the scoring depth with this team is what wins them games. Good solid team effort from Phoenix will make a Detroit team that's struggled to play as a team in the past two games very vulnerable. 
  • Score Prediction: 3-2 Detroit. 
  • Player of the Game Prediction: Going with....Niklas Kronwall
  • Follow-up discussion: Trevor Gillies got a 10 game suspension for the hit on Cal Clutterbuck. Enough games or not enough?

 

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