Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The big Coyotes preview

First of all. Official hashtag for the series: #beatthesnake. Use it!

So, here's my preview of the series against the Dogs:

The Records
Phoenix: 50-25-7, 107 pts, 225-202 (+23)
Wings: 44-24-14, 102 pts, 229-216 (+13)

Take away the shootout and the Wing would pass the Coyotes.

The goalies
Phoenix:
Bryzgalov: 69 GP (69 starts), 42-20-6, 2.29 GAA, .920 save percentage, 8 SO, 1 A, 4 PIM
LaBarbera: 17 GP (13 starts), 8-5-1, 2.13 GAA, .928, 0 SO, 0 A, 0 PIM

Bryzgalov is the best chance the Dogs have of winning. LaBarbera is actually a pretty solid backup. But can he handle being thrown into the playoffs if it comes to that?

Detroit:
Howard: 63 games, (61 starts), 37-15-10, 2.26 GAA, .924, 3 SO, 2 A, 2 PIM
Osgood: 23 GP (21 starts), 7-9-4, 3.02 GAA, .888, 1 SO, 1 A, 0 PIM

The Wings have a hot rookie and a backup that we know has the ability to turn it on for the playoffs.

Point leaders
Coyotes:
Wolski 65
Doan 55
Lombardi 53
Stempniak 48
Vrbata 43

Wings:
Datsyuk 70
Zetterberg 70
Lidstrom 49
Holmstrom 45
Bertuzzi 44

The Wings have a few guys who are higher in points, but the Coyotes score by committee. But one has to believe that the fire power is higher in Detroit and that those numbers would have been different if people had been healthy.

Goal scorers
Phoenix:
Stempniak 28
Vrbata 24
Wolski 23
Lombardi 19
Doan, Upshall 18

Detroit:
Datsyuk 27
Holmstrom 25
Zetterberg 23
Bertuzzi 18
Cleary 15

No huge scorers for each team, but again, Detroit have more fire power than it looks like from those numbers.

+/- leaders and losers
Phoenix:
Wolski 21
Yandle 16
Lepisto 14
Pyatt 13
Fiddler 13
...
Nokelainen -9
Korpakoski -10
Jovanovski -12

Detroit:
Rafalski 23
Lidstrom 22
Datsyuk 17
Zetterberg 12
Holmstrom, Kronwall 5
...
Stuart -12
Meech -12
Ericsson -15

How the Dogs can pull this off
- Bryzgalov shuts the door
- Tight D, keeping the Wings to the perimeter.
- Someone starts scoring
- Referees

Detroit keys to the series
- They need to up the intensity and speed
- Play tight, no defensive collapses, no mistakes and turnovers
- Continue to be good on special teams
- 4 line hockey
- Datsyuk, Z and Franzén need to step up
- Be focused. Do not mail it in.
- Howard

Game 1 keys to the game
- This is an inexperienced team. Go out hard. Be fast, play intense. Show no mercy.
- Tight in the D zone
- Keep the early excited Coyotes at bay and grind them down
- Stay out of the box.

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