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NHL Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinal Preview: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings

Written by Gaby Varji   
Monday, 11 April 2011 18:09

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings OddsMLB betting in Arizona is pretty popular right now with the Arizona Diamondbacks off to a good start in the MLB regular season, but the NHL news in Phoenix is pretty good too. After a shaky start to the regular season, the Phoenix Coyotes were able to finish in sixth place in the Western Conference, and have earned a playoff round against the third place Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes had a lot of promise entering the 2010-2011 season, considering their strong finish to last year’s regular season. But a 5dimes review of last year’s playoffs shows that it was the Red Wings that knocked the Coyotes out of the playoffs in the first round. Now, the two teams meet again in the first round of the playoffs to see if Phoenix can get some revenge for last year.

Phoenix Coyotes
The key to the Phoenix Coyotes’ success is goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. He has been one of the team’s leaders for years, and he is the player that Phoenix built a playoff contender around last season. Bryzgalov had another excellent season posting 36 wins, seven shutouts, a .921 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average.

He was a steady force that the Coyotes could count on every night, and he needs to stay that way if the team wants to win in the playoffs.

Up front, the Coyotes are lead by veteran winger Shane Doan. He sets the tempo for the team on offense, and he is also a rugged player that is not afraid to get into the corners and dig out the puck. The rest of the team follows his lead, and the Coyotes are able to put the puck in the net on a regular basis.

Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings recently signed goaltender Jimmy Howard to a contract extension because he is seen as an integral part of the team’s success. But, in reality, he is one of the weakest points on the team.

Detroit is a scoring machine that has scored a total of 261 goals this season. That is second only to the Vancouver Canucks’ total of 262 for tops in the NHL. But the Red Wings have also given up 241 goals this season, and that is the most of any playoff team in the league. The Red Wings play solid defense, but they are not getting consistent goaltending. The Detroit defense is also getting old and cannot keep up with some of the faster forwards in the league anymore.

The Bottom Line
The Red Wings just do not have all of the tools they will need to win this series. Bryzgalov can keep the Wings offense under control, and Phoenix has more than enough fire power to keep Jimmy Howard under siege. The Coyotes are looking for revenge for last year’s playoff beating the Red Wings put on them. So long as the Coyotes play their game, they should be able to exact their revenge.

BSN Sports Pick: Phoenix Coyotes

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