Phoenix and the Flames have had a fruitful trading relationship over the years. Langkow, Lombardi, Gauthier, Saprykin, Lundmark, Leclerc, Prust and Vandermeer are a few of the guys that have moved from one to other the last few seasons. Throw in recent defectees Dawes and Aucoin and you have the odd sensation of familial in-fighting when the two clubs face each other.
Stuff to watch for -
- Coyotes have a lot of interesting youngsters, but most people don't know about Martin Hanzal - mainly because he plays some of the most thankless minutes on the squad. He frequently sees some of the toughest competition and starts a bunch in his own zone. Tough gig for a 22 year old. He may or may not return from injury tonight.
- As Robert mentioned, Tippett has the Desert Dogs playing respectable hockey. However, the combination of air tight defensive system and rather lackluster roster has them 27th in the league in terms of ES scoring (32).
- Ilya Bryzgalov continues to give the Coyotes quality goaltending (currently 13th in the league with a 918 SV%). He was a waiver wire pick-up from the Ducks back when Burke decided that signing three quality goaltenders somehow made sense.
- The Langkow line has understandably gone a bit silent in the absence of Bourque. Commenter Lawrence would like to see them pick up a bit in the hopes an effective Bourque-less trio would convince Sutter to put Rene on the Jokinen/Iginla line when he returns. Not a bad thought.
Let's get at it.