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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: MALONEY'S THOUGHTS ON 1ST WEEK

Monday, 10.20.2008 / 12:23 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


I had a chance to sit down with General Manager Don Maloney before Saturday’s game to discuss the first week of the season, you know, what he’s liked, what he hasn’t liked.

Before I relay his answers, I must report that we conducted this interview in the team’s hotel in Montreal. It was a beautiful place, but quite unique and chic with a European flavor. For instance, I had to unplug an end table in my room because it was, I kid you not, plugged into the wall and emitted a bright blue light that kept me awake. Also, the shower head in the bathroom came out of the ceiling, not the wall, so the water sprinkled down on me from above. For a moment I felt like Tim Robbins character in that classic scene from the "The Shawshank Redemption" where he is cleansing himself with rainfall.

Anyway, back to the G.M. Here are some of his comments:

On the team’s start: “I think what we’ve seen in the first week or so is fairly indicative of what we’re going to see early on in the season. We’ve had moments of real speed and talent and quickness, and then there are moments where we’re a little scrambly and running around. I think our youth is being exposed a little bit right now, especially on the road in some tough, tough buildings. But I like our mix, I like our patience. We’re just going to have to have some patience here to let the group come together and show that we can be a good team in our conference.”

On the veterans: “We need (Ilya) Bryzgalov to be very good and we need our leaders to be very good. I think if you look at our more experienced players, we need them to be top players. When they’re average, it will be tough for us.”

On the Shane Doan-Olli Jokinen-Peter Mueller line: “That’s really Wayne’s bailiwick. But it didn’t seem like there was really good chemistry early on between the three of them so Wayne’s tinkering a little bit and experimenting, trying to come up with some combinations that can bring some consistency. I like the work ethic.”

On the team’s rookies: “Probably the most consistent young player has been Viktor Tikhonov. He has a second-effort approach to his game. They’ve all shown flashes of good things and yet they’ve all shown flashes of mediocrity. But that’s being young in this league and that’s how we’re going to get better. We just need a little more consistent performance out of everybody, including our young players.”



Doan scored a goal on his second cousin Carey Price on Saturday night in Montreal.

It was a unique situation although Doan says thanks to an 11-year gap in their ages, they aren’t extremely close.

While discussing his relationship with Price, Doan ended up telling me about an annual hockey game played between the two sides of his family. He said the game is usually played on the day after Christmas and that the winning team is awarded a homemade trophy to keep until the next game.

After the game, the families sit down and watch it on tape and have a grand time. Sounds like a nice tradition.


And speaking of tradition...

This one comes from the you-had-to-be-there file, but bear with me. The Montreal Canadiens are celebrating their 100th anniversary this season. As part of the festivities, the Canadiens played a lengthy pre-game video on their Jumbotron Saturday night that I won’t soon forget.

While it was all good, the best part of the video was a slideshow showing fans in Canadiens attire all over the world – under the Golden Gate Bridge, at the Vatican, etc., - with a rare version of the U2 song “One” playing in the background. I don’t get goose bumps often, but I did watching this piece. A few co-workers told me later they were close to tears.

Kudos to the idea man or woman behind that one.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com

 
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