By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes will try to snap a two-game losing streak tonight when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
A loss at Colorado on Wednesday night has left the Coyotes (9-6-0) puzzled as to why they haven't started games well this week. On Wednesday, Phoenix fell behind 1-0 less than a minute into the game and spent six minutes of the first period killing penalties.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett did not like what he saw from some of his players. He didn't name names, but the ice time of the players tells the story.
"It's tough when you've got some players who aren't up to snuff and you've got to overplay other players," Tippett said. "It's hard. ...We've got some players who've got to give us some more (effort)."
Chicago (8-4-1) is hopeful that captain Jonathan Toews will return to the lineup tonight as the Blackhawks try to beat Phoenix for the seventh consecutive time. Toews has missed the past four games because of concussion-like symptoms stemming from a check delivered by Vancouver's Willie Mitchell on Oct. 21.
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski scored his team-high fifth goal of the season on Wednesday night at Colorado. He has notched 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the past 10 games.
Blackhawks goalie Cristobal Huet has won three of his past four games and gave up just four goals in those games. For the season, Huet has a 2.29 goals-against average in 10 games.
• The Coyotes on Thursday recalled defenseman David Schlemko from their AHL affiliate. “David Schlemko is an intelligent, puck-moving defenseman,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “He has been recalled to replace Zbynek Michalek, out with a lower body injury.”
• The Blackhawks earned seven of eight points in four games vs. the Coyotes last season and outscored Phoenix 19-4 in those games. That was last season, however, when the Coyotes were a much younger and softer team. It will be interesting to see how this year's Coyotes combat Chicago's aggressive style.
• The Blackhawks have not played since Oct. 30 and have been enjoying the Valley of the Sun the past few days. Some of the players’ fathers have accompanied them on this trip and will be watching inside Jobing.com Arena.