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Kings-Coyotes Preview: Not Playing the LaBarberas This Time

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Since we last met the Phoenix LolBarberas...

IN: Goalie Mike Smith was taken off of injured reserve, to Phoenix's great relief.

OUT: Martin Hanzal still hasn't returned after taking that nasty hit to the face; Boyd Gordon (lower body) is out. Raffi Torres, the bug eyed ginger, is still serving a suspension. Raise your hand if you're surprised he got one.

There are several different versions of the possible Coyotes lineup out there. Rich Hammond has one where Cal O'Reilly gets promoted to second line center. Here's another I found on the Coyotes side of the web:

Doan-Langkow-Boedker

Vrbata-Whitney-Korpikoski

Sullivan-O'Reilly-Pouliot

Bissonnette-Chipchura-Pyatt

Yandle-Schlemko

Ekman-Larsson-Aucoin

Klesla-Rozsival

Smith

Game Outlook: No matter how the Coyotes deal with Hanzal's loss, they will have much better netminding to help them out. Our time at the Former Backup All-The-Goals-You-Can-Get Buffet & Waffle Bar has ended. The Coyotes are still scoreboard-watching just like we are, so I expect them to remain dangerous.

As for the Kings, things are looking up -- and not just with the way they've been piling up points. We noted that the team turned around its possession game dramatically on the road trip before Sutter's arrival, going from the lower-middle to the top half of the league. They are now in the top ten (8th). Great news that bodes well for the future.