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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: BEATING WINGS WILL GO LONG WAY

Tuesday, 01.20.2009 / 7:47 PM / 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

Yes We Can!

My apologies for mixing hockey sticks with politics, but the aforementioned catchphrase not only was the mind-set in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday as Barack Obama became our 44th president, but in the Coyotes' dressing room as well after a 6-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

Truth be told, when the Red Wings tied the score at 3 with six seconds left in the second period, the vibe I felt in the building was that Detroit would rally to beat Phoenix for the 10th straight time. 

But that didn't happen. And because it didn't, the Coyotes may have turned that corner that leads to the NHL playoffs.

"I think a year ago we would have probably somehow found a way to lose that game," Head Coach Wayne Gretzky told reporters after the game. "But maturity and want and will to win have really come a long way here, and effort and goaltending have sort of risen, and that's the difference."


I bumped into defenseman Kurt Sauer for the first time in a while on Tuesday morning. Actually, he almost bumped into me as he made his way through the Coyotes' dressing room on crutches.

Sauer, of course, was injured while blocking a shot vs. Dallas on Jan. 10 and hasn’t played since. He is expected to miss three more weeks. Then again, maybe not.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take,” Sauer said with a smile. “I’m not going to say three more weeks, I’m not going to say two and I am not going to say five because I don’t know what the mind can do and if I start saying 'three weeks' maybe that’s going to slow down the process. I’m hoping it’s as fast as possible. It’s tough to watch the boys go out and battle."


Sauer was injured when he skated in front of a shot by Stars center Mike Modano.

“I’m feeling all right,” Sauer said. “I usually try to lift up my foot a little bit and take it in the plastic, but I read it wrong and it was a close game and I wasn’t going to let the puck go past me… It’s tough (missing games). It’s great family time and you take that when you can get it, but you want to play and you want to be out there battling. There are good teams all around us (in the standings), but the guys seem to be doing good without me. I hope they can keep going that way.”


Captain Shane Doan, of course, is heading to Montreal for the NHL All-Star Game this weekend and rookie Mikkel Boedker is going there, too, for the NHL YoungStars Game. So, what are their teammates doing with five days off? I took a quick poll after Tuesday’s morning skate:


• Defenseman Derek Morris is spending some quality time with his family at his home in the Valley.

“We fly so much that I am one of those guys who turns into a hermit when I’ve got time and we don’t have to go anywhere,” Morris said.

• Forward Todd Fedoruk is going to be closing on a house and moving into it.

• Forward Peter Mueller plans to catch up on some sleep and have a tattoo on his arm finished.

• Defenseman David Hale and his wife are going to drive to Las Vegas, and stop in Flagstaff and the Hoover Dam along the way.

All of them said they plan to watch Doan play in the All-Star Game on Sunday night on Versus.
After hearing all these answers, I asked Doan if he’d rather have five days off instead of going to the All-Star Game.

His response: “I’m sure at the moment you might want five days off, but when you’re done (playing in the NHL) and you can think about ‘hey, I got to spend a weekend in Montreal for the 100th year and the All-Star Game,' I think I’ll remember it and it’ll be something I look back at very fondly.”

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com

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