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Coyotes need even-strength improvement

Friday, 09.25.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - Columnist


Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 79
(13TH WEst/25th NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +4
Home Points 49
(10TH WEst/21ST NHL)
Away Points 30
(15TH WEst/29th NHL)
Advantage Margin            +51
The Coyotes' struggles on the power play weren't due to a lack of chances. They actually gave up five more opportunities than they had on the road -- but got 56 more power plays than their opponents at home.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -27
The Coyotes struggled badly when playing 5-on-5, scoring just 137 goals while allowing 163. Rookie center Kyle Turris was minus-15 despite averaging less than 13 minutes of ice time in 63 games.

Special Teams Goal Margin        -17
The Coyotes special teams were their downfall. Phoenix was 28th on the power play and the penalty kill. The power play was outscored 68-50 despite the huge edge in advantages.

Goals by defensemen            30
After a career-best 51-point season in 2007-08, Ed Jovanovski dropped from 12 goals to 9 and finished with just 36 points and a minus-15. The Coyotes need more than that from their biggest offensive threat on the blue line.

Overtime Record
Total: 4-4-3 (OT: 1-4, SO: 3-3)

Phoenix split its six shootouts at home, but was the only team in the League that didn't play one on the road. However, the Coyotes were 0-4 in overtime away from Arena.
Times Scored First
36 (Record: 21-14-1)

The Coyotes scored first 18 times at home and 18 on the road, but were far more successful in turning those first goals into points at Arena (12-6-0) than away from home (9-8-1).

Best 08-09 Number             18-8-1
The Coyotes' combined record on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Phoenix was 6-2-0 on Wednesdays, 12-6-1 on Thursdays -- and 18-31-6 on the other five days of the week.

Worst 08-09 Number          10-20

The Coyotes' record in games decided by three or more goals. The 20 blowout losses by the Coyotes were tied for second in the NHL, one behind Colorado. Fourteen of those 20 losses came on the road, the most in the NHL.

The Coyotes start with three road games and play four of their first five away from home before a four-game homestand. They play seven in a row at home in January, but end March with nine of 11 on the road.

Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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