Down in Florida, Up in Raleigh
On Saturday November 1st the Arizona Coyotes look to swoop up into Carolina and take two points away from the Hurricanes. The ‘Canes are winless this season but it’s never safe to assume that they will go down with out putting up a fight. The Coyotes are coming off a painful loss against the Panthers. The game was going well until ex Coyote Scottie Upshall stepped out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway. The bright side of the game was that the Coyotes defense looked way better than it did against Tampa Bay. Mike Smith also played a way better game. Unfortunately they couldn’t come away with the win and Smitty took his first loss against the Panthers since he joined the team. What I took away from the game was that the Coyotes couldn’t finish on their chances. They had plenty of opportunities that they couldn’t capitalize on.
Saturdays game against Carolina will be a tough one. They will be looking for their first win while the Coyotes will be hungry to put this mini slump to rest. The game will be a well contested battle and if the Coyotes can thread the needle on a few of there chances they will be heading to Washington D.C. with smiles on their faces. On the other hand Carolina will be looking to win their first game this year. They are 0-6-2 on the season and have only managed to score six goals in their last five games. Everything that could go wrong for them has. Loosing Jordan Staal sure has hurt them and their goaltending has been very inconsistent for them this season. The lone bright spot for them so far has been the hot start for left winger Jiri Tlusty. He has seven points in eight games including five goals. (Shockingly that is 1/3rd) Of the teams goals.
Whose Hot: Jiri Tlusty – As mentioned earlier he is the backbone for the Hurricanes offense right now. Most goals being scored are being put in off his stick.
Mike Smith – Smitty looks to continue his strong play after turning away 24 of 26 shots faced against the Panthers.
Justin Hodgman – Hodgman has one goal on the season and last night against the Panthers he created a few very good chances. He is a playmaker and the energy he brings to the line up is very important for this team
Whose Not – Cam Ward – The former Conn Smythe Trophy winner has allowed sixteen goals in has last four games. He is 0-3-1 with a shaky .840 save percentage this season
Lauri Korpikoski – The Finnish winger couldn’t capiltalize on any of his chances last night and has struggled offensively this season. He only has two points and is a -7 on the year
The Arizona Coyotes can’t afford to take this painful elevator ride any lower. They need to stop and get off it on Saturday and start to turn their season around. They will be facing a very bad Hurricanes team with a shaky goalie. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy (Just ask San Jose how their games vs Buffalo went) They need to strike first and avoid making costly mistakes if they want to come away from this game with a win.