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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: MALONEY EXPLAINS SULLIVAN MOVE

Saturday, 10.24.2009 / 1:43 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
The Coyotes did not have a morning skate on Saturday, so I e-mailed General Manager Don Maloney and asked him to explain why defenseman Sean Sullivan was recalled from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio on Friday.

"Zbynek Michalek has a slight lower-body injury so we brought Sean to Phoenix in case Michalek is unable to play tonight," Maloney replied. "Sean has had a tremendous start in San Antonio and earned a call-up opportunity."

In eight games with San Antonio, Sullivan, who if he plays tonight will wear sweater number 45, notched a team-high eight assists and 10 points.

Michalek played Saturday and Sullivan was a healthy scratch.


Jovanovski
Head Coach Dave Tippett recently was asked which players, other than goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, have stood out to him during the team's successful start to the season.

"(Ed) Jovanovski and (Shane) Doan have both been real key guys for us," Tippett said. "...They're the leadership. They're the guys in the dressing room that have to continue to sell (the system) in there and they sell it two ways. They sell it verbally and how your team is perceived in the locker room, but they also sell it on the ice. Both of those guys have been first rate on the ice. They're trying to do what we want to do as a a team. Their play has been very good and also a little bit inspirational. They have a real desire to win."


Defenseman Kurt Sauer continues to nurse a nagging upper-body injury. Sauer has played just one game thus far, the season opener in Los Angeles on Oct. 3.

Sauer told me he hopes to start skating again soon. He did not accompany the team on its three-game road trip to New York, Columbus and St. Louis.


This time a year ago, forwards Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris, Viktor Tikhonov and Kevin Porter all were playing their rookie seasons in the NHL. Nowadays, the four young players are getting the chance to hone their skills for the San Antonio Rampage, Phoenix's affiliate in the American Hockey League.

The Rampage have an impressive 6-2-1 record after nine games. Their 13 points are tops in the AHL.

Here's how the four players are performing:

Boedker: one goal, three assists in four games
Turris: four goals, five assists in nine games
Tikhonov: one goal, four assists in nine games
Porter: two goals, seven assists in seven games

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, Dave Spina, the Mesa resident who made a lengthy bid to land a roster spot with Phoenix in training camp before being assigned to San Antonio, is expected to be out for at least three months after suffering an upper body injury in a preseason game.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
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