SCH First Round Preview - The Coyotes Bottom Six Forwards
This train just keeps on rolling. Let's finish it out and batten down the hatches for the games tonight and the big night tomorrow. Who's ready? You ready? I'm ready. Let's do it.
#28 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes
Jul 28, 1986
|2011 - Lauri Korpikoski||82||17||20||37||3||14||0||3||3||146|
#15 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes
Oct 19, 1983
|2011 - Boyd Gordon||75||8||15||23||9||10||0||1||2||114|
#14 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes
Aug 19, 1981
|2011 - Taylor Pyatt||73||9||10||19||-4||23||0||0||1||111|
This would be the Yotes checking line, and also provides me with the opportunity to say "The Kor-pedo" some more, which is Korpikoski's nickname. And Korpikoski is the star here. Real quick, real determined, better hands than you think, and can pop up with a big goal when the Yotes need it. Most likely the Toews-Hossa-Kane line will have this guy in their grill all game, and he's the only one who can keep up with his feet.
Boyd Gordon is kind of your automaton checking center. He wins a lot of draws, defensively sound, can be nasty to play against. He plays bigger than he is, but he's not all that big so he shouldn't be able to muscle out Toews the way Kesler did last year and other centers have tried.
Taylor Pyatt....is Taylor Pyatt. Quite frankly if his name wasn't something as so stupid as "Taylor Pyatt", which sounds like something a really rich family names their pain in the ass son, he'd be just a guy. Yeah, he's big, and if he's determined to get to the net that's the kind of forward the Hawks defense struggles with. But in 41 playoff games, Pyatt has four goals, and just looks like he's scorchable for the Hawks top end talent, while not scaring any of the Hawks pairings. Unless he's intent on using that size to pressure Leddy and Oduya, but that's kind of his thing. He doesn't.
#37 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes
Oct 08, 1981
|2011 - Raffi Torres||79||15||11||26||2||83||1||0||1||99|
#22 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes
Sep 27, 1976
|2011 - Daymond Langkow||73||11||19||30||-4||14||1||0||1||112|
#8 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes
Jan 01, 1987
|2011 - Gilbert Brule||33||5||9||14||7||11||1||0||0||56|
Ah yes, the Angry Mexican. Now we get to him. You don't need me to tell you about Raffi Torres. A giant pain in the ass who can frustratingly pop up with a goal when you least want to see it. The storylines write themselves here. Personally, I'd love to see Torres pop that ridiculous look on his face whenever he gets called for a penalty where it looks like he's been accused of an international crime. Let him boil over, give the Hawks the momentum if nothing else, and keep the Yotes shorthanded. We know at the very least he's going to be running around and trying to hit all the Hawks d-men, but this year's Hawks blue line is more mobile than the exhausted Keith and injured Campbell were last year.
Three years ago, I would have taken Daymond Langkow as the Hawks #2 center. He was just an all-around good player who did everything asked. But one horrific injury, and the years rolling on have left Langkow as a bit-part player who won't be near the force that he was in 2009 when the young Hawks defense didn't really have much of an answer for him for a few games. He'll win some draws, he'll be in the right places, but one would have to conclude the pace will pass him by.
Gilbert Brule had some serious numbers in the WHL. I'm sure Jackets fans were really excited to see him suit up in the NHL. Then he got shipped to Edmonton, where I'm sure Oilers fans thought their more high octane offense would get the best out of Brule. That didn't work either, and now he's on his third stop. Still some hands, I suppose if he gets left open it could be a problem. But don't count on it.
A couple other forwards who may get a look are modern Shakespeare Paul Bissonette and Kyle Chipchura, but that's only if the Yotes feel they have to resort to the stupid to try and intimidate the Hawks or something, and it's doubtful that a bright coach like Dave Tippett would throw two guys out there who won't be able to keep up simply for some posturing.