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The Phoenix (Arizona) Rises

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The injured, yet still moving Avalanche (7-9-5) head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes (9-11-2).

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Yet again I find my previews intertwined with the now Arizona Coyotes. This time the Avs aren't simply playing a team that played in Arizona the game before, however. This time the Avs are traveling to the state held within the purgatory time between pacific time, mountain time, and daylight savings time. The Coyotes are coming off a difficult 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. A bad bounce helped the Ducks squeak (quack?) their way past the Coyotes on Sunday. The Coyotes lone goal came from their points leader, defenseman Keith Yandle. Yandle is a player that I felt the Avs should pursue in the offseason with an O'Reilly trade. The idea with that trade was that the Avs would hold onto Stastny. Yandle has proved that he's worth more than O'Reilly's trade value so far this season, however, putting up numbers similar to the Avs' Tyson Barrie with three goals and twelve assists.

The Avs come into Arizona a bit battered and bruised. In their comeback win against the Canes, the Avs had four members of the Lake Erie Monsters help steer them to victory. The main one of those Monsters was the goaltender, Calvin Pickard. Pickard played stellar, including a highlight reel save in the second to help clean-up a terrible opening period by Reto Berra. Despite the poor play Saturday, Berra will get the start in net on Tuesday. At least one of those three other monsters will not be in the line-up either Tuesday, as Andrew Agozzino was sent back to Cleveland in favor of Paul Carey. While that move by the Avs makes it difficult to predict the lines Tuesday, the good news is that the Avs will get Alex Tanguay back. Here's my crack at the lines:

LINES

O'Reilly-Duchene-Tanguay

Landeskog-MacKinnon-Iginla

Carey-Briere-Vincour

McLeod-Cliche-Talbot

Hejda-Johnson

Guenin-Barrie

Holden-Redmond

Berra

Pickard

QUESTIONS

Q: Can MacKinnon get in the zone?

A: MacKinnon put up three points last game to take the team lead in points (16). MacKinnon is a bit of a streaky player so far in his NHL career. With five points in the last two, there's no reason to think he won't put up more this coming game. The sophomore slump seems to be disappearing for this young man.

Q: Will Redmond stay in the line-up even when Stuart comes back?

A: With six points in ten games and a team leading plus/minus, there's no statistical reason why the Avs shouldn't keep Redmond in the line-up. He's been hands down one of the Avs' best additions this offseason, but will his stellar play get Roy to shake off his attachment to Guenin? Hopefully.

Q: Will the NHL ever move the Coyotes?

A: When hell freezes over aka when Arizona actually becomes a suitable place to have a hockey team, then they will move them.

GAME INFO

Game time: 7pm, MT (Local time: ?)

TV: ALT 2 (stupid Nuggets game), TVA

And just for the Phoenix reference:

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