Thursday, September 4, 2008

NHL Four-cast: Phoenix Coyotes

1 - Why is this team worth watching? There are so many reasons ... I heart Dan Carcillo. Dave Strader and Darren Pang are probably the best announcing pair in the NHL. Gretzky freaks out with the best of them. Shane Doan holds the flag as the last Winnipeg Jet with the franchise. He is joined by a ton of young talent and play a fun up-tempo game. And let's face it, even when they are bad, you never know what wonderful things can happen.

2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Definitely better. Phoenix shipped two mediocre defensemen to Florida for Olli Jokinen, who will easily put up a point per game alongside Doan. He will be a better scorer than Radim Vrbata, who jumped ship to Tampa, and probably the best playmaker the team has had since Alexei Zhamnov or even Dale Hawerchuk. And while it may have hurt to deal away Keith Ballard, the Coyotes turned around and picked up a more-than-adequate replacement in Kurt Sauer. Brian McGrattan will be their first heavyweight since Georges Laraque left and he should help keep Carcillo in the lineup.

3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? Ilya Bryzgalov had a 2.42 g.a.a. and a .921 save percentage with Phoenix last year. Look at that, he is incredible and incredibly underrated in most drafts. Carcillo was a stud last season grabbing points and PIM and even with McGrattan he should do well again. Jokinen and Doan are both quality and Peter Mueller should only improve upon his 54 point rookie campaign. All of the hype around Kyle Turris is well deserved; he is definitely a early candidate for the Calder, especially with Doan and Jokinen around to show him the ropes.

4 - Do they have the funniest promotion in the NHL? Perhaps ... On November 29th, the night they play the San Jose Sharks, the Coyotes will give out winter gloves. Winter gloves. In Arizona. Yes, the desert temperatures can dip to the low 40s, but they are giving out winter gloves. In Arizona.


Anonymous said...

Hey, when you are used to 115 degrees, 40 degrees feels pretty damn cold!


Sean Leahy said...

there were probably 3 people in that arena that night that appreciated (or remembered) what Dale Hawerchuk did for the Jets