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The Desert Dog Blog: Maloney Analyzes First Five Games

Wednesday, 10.19.2011 / 6:42 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – So, what do we know about the 2011-12 Coyotes after five games?

Certainly there have been some highs and some lows already in the young season.

I asked General Manager Don Maloney what he thought on Wednesday after the team’s practice inside Jobing.com Arena.

Don Maloney
“We’ve seen some extremes, that’s for sure,” Maloney said. “In the two games we lost in regulation we played as poorly as we could ever play. On the positive side, we played a really good game in Nashville and a really good game here against Winnipeg and a good game in Dallas where maybe we deserved a better fate. So, it’s been five games of feast or famine, with nothing in between. But we certainly need to play better against the top teams and we will play better. We’re still looking at our group and trying to establish our identity.”

Maloney said playing better defense is crucial to the team’s success.

“We’re not a talented enough team to just waltz into a game without a very strict adherence to our game plan,” Maloney said. “I thought we got away from it last night and we looked overwhelmed, like we did in the first game against San Jose.”

Maloney has liked what he has seen from some of the team’s younger players.

Mikkel Boedker. Photo by Getty Images.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson has had a great start to the season and is doing everything we need and know he can do,” Maloney said. “And it’s not just the points, it’s the defending and the puck movement. Mikkel Boedker, even though he hasn’t had a ton of points, has brought a high energy and tempo and pace to our lineup and that is something that we have to have. David Schlemko has done a nice job as well.”

The Coyotes are 2-2-1 after five games with a favorable schedule in front of them over the next few weeks.

“This is a very important time for us because we have a lot of home games coming up and a lot of rest between games,” Maloney said. “We can really help ourselves by playing well here at home.”

Next up is a home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

“The one encouraging for me is that we did respond very well after the opening night loss in San Jose,” Maloney said. “I expect the same tomorrow night.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Contact Dave Vest at thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
 
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