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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: JOKINEN'S RETURN IS BIG PLUS

Thursday, 12.11.2008 / 3:55 AM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content


I’m writing this blog entry while sitting on the team’s flight back to Phoenix after Wednesday night’s 5-3 victory over Dallas.

Not surprisingly, the mood on the plane has changed dramatically since the flight from Chicago to Dallas on Monday after a 7-1 loss.

I give much of the credit for tonight's win – and the pleasant flight home – to Olli Jokinen. It's cliche, but the guy played like he was on a mission on Wednesday night. Actually, I think he was on a mission: to prove how much he hated missing six games because of an injured shoulder.

Jokinen has scored nine goals for Phoenix this season, his first in the desert. None meant more than the goal he scored with 3.2 seconds left in the second period to tie the score at 3. A loss to an injury-riddled Dallas team with Minnesota and Detroit up next on the schedule would not have been a a good thing.

Jokinen returned to the lineup less than two weeks after suffering his injury. Frankly, I’m not surprised he came back so soon because I saw him work out feverishly, on and off the ice, several times over the past 13 days with one goal in mind: To get back on the ice and help his new team, which needs him desperately.

Welcome back Olli.


Yes, that was former Coyotes forward Landon Wilson playing for Dallas Wednesday night. As many Phoenix fans know, Wilson played for Phoenix from 2000-2004 and scored 32 goals in 183 games. His NHL career was tragically interrupted after a deflected puck hit him in an eye during a Coyotes game played on Dec. 13, 2002.

I don’t usually write about former Coyotes, but Wilson is a special person. A nicer man, I doubt I ever will meet. I was able to chat with him briefly on Wednesday morning and he talked about how he'd spent the past four years playing in Switzerland where he learned to play the game he loves effectively with basically one good eye.

“I’m very blessed to be back here and playing in North America, let alone in the NHL," Wilson said with a smile.

Wilson’s father, Rick, is an assistant coach with the Stars. That’s the icing on the cake for Landon, who is getting a second chance to stick in the league while several Stars regulars recover from injuries. Here’s hoping that happens.


Tyson Nash returned to his role as color analyst for the Coyotes Radio Network on Wednesday after missing several games following the death of his mother. It was great to hear him offering his unique insight again during the broadcast, and it also was great to just chat and joke around with him again before the game.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
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