Thursday, October 30, 2008

Game 11: Howl like a Coyoooote

About the opponent: The Phoenix Coyoooootes
Record: 3-4-0
Notable wins: at Anaheim, Washington
Notable losses: at Montreal, at Ottawa
Last game: 4-1 loss at home to Calgary on Saturday...That's right, once game time comes around it'll be 5 full days since they've played
Statistical star: Olli Jokinen [1 goal and 6 assists in 7 games]
Disapointment so far: Ed Jovanovski [0 goals, 0 assists, team second worst -4]

Phoenix player to watch: We want to say Jokinen (who's scored 14 goals and 12 assists in his last 20 games versus the Penguins) but we have to go with Danny Carcillo. The former Penguins prospect gets his first crack at playing his former teammates at the NHL level. Of particular note is will he meet his old buddy Paul Bissonnette--the two were kindred spirits in Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre and surely were fimiliar with each other from playing in the OHL at the same time for a few years. Carcillo is a fun player to watch, he skates like a madman, will hit and fight at the drop of a hat. His antics are wild, but to reign him in would limit his effectiveness. When Carcillo's on the ice one can't be quite certain of what will happen, but it'll likely be action packed.

Penguins player to watch: Ruslan Fedotenko. He got bumped up to Crosby's line and played well with him in the dying moments of the San Jose game...Can Rusty keep it up? It appears he's been coming around lately and been playing at a higher level than he started the season, a continuation of that (and maybe some chemistry with Sid to boot) could be very beneficial for this game and the long run.

Will the desert air bring back some offense for the Penguins? While "that one" has a famous goal that happened in Phoenix, let's not forget another highlight goal that's been overshadowed...Something about playing in Phoenix lends itself to highlight reels, well at least it has for Crosby and Ovechkin...Let's see if their contemporary Evgeni Malkin can add to the magic.

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