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The Desert Dog Blog: Thoughts on Playoffs, Photo Shoot and More

Friday, 05.06.2011 / 6:08 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – Well, it’s Friday afternoon and it seems like a good time to share some observations I’ve made since my last blog.

First of all, I’ve been extremely fascinated by how the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs have played out thus far. Are we really going to have three sweeps after having four Game 7s in the first round?

San Jose and Vancouver have impressed me the most in the postseason. Ditto Ryan Kesler and Joe Pavelski.

I feel confident predicting the team that wins the Western Conference will raise the Cup in a few weeks. Then again, Tampa Bay and Boston look like teams on missions. It will be fun to watch it all unfold…

Larry Fitzgerald and Shane Doan. Photo by Gene Lower.
• Earlier this week, I spent an afternoon watching captain Shane Doan and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald pose for photos inside Jobing.com Arena for an upcoming ad campaign for Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.

In between photos, Doan and Fitzgerald chatted about various topics including the NFL labor situation, the NFL Draft, the equipment each wears and hockey fights. At one point Doan playfully demonstrated some of his sweater-holding and punching techniques on Fitzgerald.

After the photos were taken I had a chance to talk to both about their friendship and photo shoots in general. Click here to watch them in a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot.

FYI, Fitzgerald is a hockey fan; he grew up in Minnesota rooting for the Wild, but now he also roots for the Coyotes.

• Coyotes prospect Mark Visentin recently was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year and a first-team OHL All-Star. Visentin posted a 30-9-2-4 record for Niagara in 2010-11. His .917 save percentage was the highest in the OHL and his 2.52 goals-against average ranked second.

• Center Kyle Turris recently answered questions from fans during a one-hour web chat here at phoenixcoyotes.com. Among the many tidbits he provided, I found it interesting that Turris chose to wear sweater No. 91 on the advice of former head coach Wayne Gretzky. Click here to read why within the full transcript.

Paul Bissonnette (second from right) on the TSN panel. Photo by TSN.
• Forward/Twitter star Paul Bissonnette has been serving as a guest panelist on TSN during its coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this week. I encourage everyone to check out the video player at TSN.ca to watch Bissonnette in action.

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson played his best game of the 2011 IIHF World Championship on Friday. Ekman-Larsson notched a goal and an assist in Sweden’s 4-0 win over France. He also took eight shots on goal. Sweden has won three games in a row after losing its tournament opener to Norway, 5-4 in a shootout.

Meanwhile, Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker has scored one goal in four games for Denmark (1-3-0). Coyotes center Andy Miele has yet to play for the United States (2-1-1).

Reach Dave Vest at thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
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