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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: PERRAULT COMPLETES TRIP BACK

Saturday, 01.31.2009 / 10:33 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, that was Joel Perrault centering the top line in between wingers Shane Doan and Joakim Lindstrom Saturday night against Buffalo.

The Coyotes recalled Perrault on Saturday to help fill the gaps left by injured forwards Steven Reinprecht (shoulder) and Peter Mueller (concussion).

Perrault, of course, is no stranger to the Coyotes. He has played 70 games for Phoenix since being claimed off waivers on Dec. 19, 2006, and has chipped in nine goals and 13 assists.

For those who don't know his story, Perrault’s season has been a curious and frustrating one thanks to a concussion he received while playing a game of shinny with teammates just before training camp began at the Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale. Since then, Perrault has been recovering and then getting into game shape with the team’s top affiliate in San Antonio. After doctors deemed him fit to compete, Perrault starred for the Rampage over the past six weeks or so, notching eight goals and 21 assists in 26 games.

“I worked hard on my game again and I’m glad to be healthy now,” Perrault told me after Saturday’s morning skate. “They gave me a lot of ice time and I got a lot of confidence down there. My goal was to get back here and I didn’t know how long it was going to take. It took 26 games, that’s not too bad. It was a good training camp for me.”

Perrault admitted his recovery was difficult because the effects of a concussion can last for a long time.

Joel Perrault nothced 29 points in 26 AHL games this season.
“Concussions are the worst injury you can get because you just don’t know how long it’s going to take to recover,” Perrault said. “It could be two days, it could be a week, it could be two months, it could be a year. And this was my second one so it took a little more time than I expected and it was frustrating because it happened in summer hockey. But some things happen and everything happens for a reason. That’s what I’ve been told and what I’ve been telling myself, and it’s true. So, I’m back here now and I’m trying to forget about what happened and move forward.”

Perrault is not just saying he is thrilled to be back with the Coyotes. Trust me, he means it. His smile never faded as we spoke at length about his return. And his attitude is terrific.

“I want to help this team,” Perrault said. “I think this team has done a tremendous job this year. I’ve been looking at the standings and it’s just unbelievable that we are one of the youngest teams in the league and we’re battling for a playoff spot again this year.”

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I spoke to center Steven Reinprecht on Saturday morning about his shoulder injury and he said it’s not nearly as serious as everyone originally thought it was.

He also told me he expects to be back sooner rather than later. He’s officially out for two weeks, but don’t be surprised if that turns out to be an over-estimation.

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Make sure you watch Wednesday's broadcast of the Coyotes game vs. the Detroit Red Wings on Fox Sports Arizona. TV announcers Dave Strader and Darren Pang will interview NHL Commissioner. 

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I spent some time in and around the Coyotes dressing room gathering predictions on the Cardinals vs. Steelers game on Sunday. I didn't hear anyone pick the Steelers.

Doan loves to guess the exact outcomes of big games in other sports and this game was no exception.

For the record, the Coyotes captain thinks the Cardinals will beat the Steelers 21-18.

“On a last-second field goal by Neil Rackers?” I asked.

“No,” Doan replied, “but the Cardinals will make a big defensive stand at the end of the game.”

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
 




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