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Four Questions For Five For Howling

Yeah, that's a tongue-twister.  Anyway, in an attempt to bring back our tradition of inter-conversing, our Travis asked their Travis some questions in preparation for tonight's game.  Thanks to Travis for happily obliging.

Head on over to Five For Howling for a full look at the Coyotes.

Check after the jump for his thoughts on Scottie Upshall, the bankruptcy fiasco, maintaining a hot start, and his hopes for some playoff hockey in Phoenix.

BSH: 1) The Coyotes got off to a great start, but they've fallen back a little bit since thanks to key injuries. With defensemen Ed Jovanovski, Kurt Sauer, and Zbynek Michalek all sidelined, what's keeping the wheels from falling off the bus?

FFH: I think that the System Dave Tippett has put in place is what's really keeping everything going. On any given night it can be anyone on the ice getting the game winner or making the big play. This team is big on defense, so if the goalie is on at all and they can score a couple they can win. Hopefully they can keep it up long enough for our defensive players to get back.

2) How has Scottie Upshall been for you? Give it to us straight. Are Coyotes fans happy with the trade?

I know I'm happy with it even if all Coyote fans aren't. Upshall is currently tied for the team lead in Goals at 7 with Radim Vrbata. Fans still like Danny a lot and I hear the "We should trade back for him" All the time. Most fans get that we got the better player in general (Along with a pick) but didn't like that he was traded away and still don't.

3) It's obvious that there's a lot of extracurricular activity in the Phoenix organization. They probably wouldn't say it in public, but do you truly think any of it affects the play on the ice? Would you say it gets into their heads?

I think last year it was certainly the case. We were playing well and then everything fell completely apart. I think this year they dealt with it for long enough that it wasn't as big of a deal by the time the season came around especially with Ulf Samuellson and then Dave TIppett in harge during Camp and the beginning of the season. Neither of those guys let there be too much time at work to think about that stuff.

4) Is this the year Phoenix returns to the playoffs? Last years team was a little bit of a tease, but before the injuries, the 09/10 version of the Coyotes showed some promise. They're currently holding steady in a very tough Pacific division and are right on the cusp of a playoff spot. Are you optimistic that a healthy team can make the playoffs?

As with a lot of bubble teams, it'll all come down to how we deal with injuries. If Zbynek Michalek and Ed Jovanovski can come back soon and we can limit the injuries for the rest of the season we could certainly be there. San Jose is running off with the Pacific Division lead, but The Pacific is good enough this year that 4 teams could probably make it out into the Playoffs. With how our goaltending and defense has played even without our star players we could give any team in the playoffs fits too.