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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: MALONEY, TIPPETT ANALYZE FIRST 10 GAMES

Tuesday, 10.27.2009 / 3:54 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
COLUMBUS -- I chatted with General Manager Don Maloney on Tuesday afternoon as we watched the Coyotes practice on the auxiliary rink inside the Nationwide Arena.

With 10 games in the books, I figured it was a good time to get Maloney's thoughts on the team's 6-4-0 record.

Listed below are just a few of his comments from our conversation. To hear our conversation in its entirety, click here.

MALONEY ON TEAM'S OFFENSE:
"We're 6-4 without getting the kind of offensive production that we need out of a number of our players... As a group, I just believe there's more production in that group than what we're seeing today, which is exciting to me because I know we are playing well without the puck and as soon as we start getting a little more consistent goal scoring, we'll be that much better. "

Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.
MALONEY ON TEAM'S DEFENSE:
"Everybody's had their moments. Certainly Ed Jovanovski has bounced back this year and in the first 10 games has played like an All-Star. I think he's played like a guy who wants to be on the (Canadian) Olympic team and he's showing it."

MALONEY ON GOALTENDING:
"I think we'll see Jason (LaBarbera) play a little bit more. Obviously, we have a busy schedule coming up and Jason was terrific in Buffalo... I think (Ilya Bryzgalov) just mentally gets a little fatigued and I think last night (in New York) was a good example. Four goals against on 12 shots, that's tough for a team like us to overcome."

MALONEY ON TEAM MVP AFTER 10 GAMES:
"I guess you'd have to go back to Bryzgalov. He's been terrific... When you're winning games 1-0 and 2-1 your hat's off to the goaltender. Right behind him would be (Shane) Doan and (Ed) Jovanovski." 


After practice, I spoke with Head Coach Dave Tippett and asked him a lot of the same questions  to see if he and Maloney were on the same page as they headed into a team evaluation meeting later Tuesday afternoon.

Q: What are your thoughts on this team after the first 10 games?

A: "We did some good things the first 10 games," Tippett said."I think we've played well as a group and when we have played well as a group we've gotten results because we've limited opportunities and we've been very competitive in the games. I look at the Pittsburgh game and the San Jose game as very, very competitive games for our group, and that's the way I'd like to see us compete in the games all the time. We'll strive for that consistency." 

Q: Which players, other than Doan, Jovanovski and Bryzgalov, have stood out so far?

Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett.
A: "Adrian Aucoin has been pretty good," Tippett said. "The last couple games have been a little bit below but he's had a good start for us... I think Martin Hanzal has been a solid player. He hasn't produced the points that I think he would like, but he's had some hard assignments and has been going against some top players and I think he's a guy that's done pretty well. Vernon Fiddler is a guy that is very competitive, and there are a lot of parts to the game that he touches that are not ones that get known in the stats."

Q: You need more scoring from others, correct?

A: "We have some people that I think can contribute more offensively," Tippett said. "Some of it just isn't skill, it's competitive levels. (Radim) Vrbata had a decent start then lately his scoring hasn't been as much as we'd like. And it's not just scoring the goals it's the amount of chances that he's getting. Peter Mueller hasn't scored at the rate that we had hoped yet. Hopefully, he can break out of that. I think if he gets one (goal) he'll get going. Robert Lang got a late start to the season so I think his first segment was allright, but it certainly won't be his best by any stretch. I think he'll continue to improve. So, we need some of the people that we rely on to create opportunities and create offense for us to continue to push their game forward."

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
 
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