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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: THOUGHTS AFTER MONDAY'S WIN

Tuesday, 09.30.2008 / 5:14 AM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content


Peter Mueller’s hat trick in Monday night’s 5-1 preseason victory over the San Jose Sharks was fun to watch, especially the goal set up by a niftty back-handed pass from Daniel Winnik.

Defenseman Ryan Lannon also set up a Mueller goal with a nice feed. Like rookie Jonas Ahnelov, Lannon is making the competition for jobs among Coyotes defensemen very interesting.

Thirty players, including nine blueliners, remain on the roster with three preseason games left. After Monday’s lopsided victory at Jobing.com Arena, I asked Head Coach Wayne Gretzky how many roster spots still were up for grabs at this point.

“We’ve still got three games left and some time, and I’m sure Donny (Maloney, the G.M.) and everyone will figure that out, but right now I’m just really pleased with where everybody is and how hard they’re working,” Gretzky said.

The Coyotes have until Oct. 8 to pare the roster to 23. The next cuts aren’t expected until after Tuesday night’s rematch against the Sharks.

Twenty-nine of the 30 players made the trip to San Jose after Monday’s game, including center Martin Hanzal, who has yet to play a preseason game because of off-season back surgery. He’ll likely play either Friday in Anaheim or Saturday at home vs. Los Angeles in the preseason finale. Center Joel Perrault, who is recovering from a pre-training camp concussion, did not make the trip.


Daniel Carcillo likes playing on the same line as rookies Kyle Turris and Mikkel Boedker.

“It seems like we have a little chemistry going,” Carcillo told me after Monday night’s win. “It’s only been two games, but we’ve worked well together. They skate well and they move the puck well and they’re smart players so it seems like a good fit.”


I spoke to John Muckler in the press box during the first intermission and he said his decision to take the job as senior advisor to Maloney was an easy one because he missed being involved in the game and because of his familiarity with many of the key members of the team's front-office staff.

He also told me that he would be based in Buffalo once the regular season started and that he planned to meet up with the team on its east coast trips and monitor the organization’s top minor league team, too.


Big kudos go out to the fans who parted with personal property and tossed their hats onto the ice after Mueller’s third goal on the same day the Dow Jones Industrial dropped 777 points. They’re braver than I am. I was hoarding ketchup packets all day.
  

Tuesday night’s preseason rematch with the San Jose Sharks will be aired on XTRA Sports 910 (AM). Be sure and tune in to hear Bob Heethuis and new color analyst Tyson Nash relay all the action.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
 
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