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The Desert Dog Blog: Notes from Friday's Practice and More

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 6:45 PM / Features
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – After back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday nights, the Coyotes held an optional skate on Friday at the Ice Den in Scottsdale. About one-third of the players skated.

Cal O'Reilly
Among those on the ice was newcomer Cal O’Reilly, who is expected to make his debut with the Coyotes on Saturday night vs. Edmonton. Phoenix acquired O’Reilly from Nashville a week ago today, but he has missed the three Coyotes games since the trade because of a minor lower-body injury.

Because O’Reilly appears ready to play, the Coyotes on Friday reassigned center Andy Miele to the American Hockey League. Miele did not register a point in five games with the Coyotes. Head Coach Dave Tippett said he wants Miele to get more ice time in the AHL and work on his defensive zone coverage and faceoffs while there.

► Click here to listen to Head Coach Dave Tippett discuss Miele's stint with the team and more.

• Center Martin Hanzal did not skate on Friday. Hanzal is still considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesday's game at Colorado.

• Both Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera were on the ice on Friday. Smith is expected back in goal vs. Edmonton after watching LaBarbera play vs. Nashville on Thursday. Smith has stopped 141 of 149 shots in his last four games (3-0-1).

Photo by Norm Hall.
• The photo to the right was taken on Monday when five Coyotes players - Shane Doan, Boyd Gordon, Smith, Rostislav Klesla and Derek Morris - visited patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix for Halloween. Coyotes Charities will be auctioning the jerseys the players wore next week at auction.nhl.com.

• Saturday’s game vs. Edmonton is starting at 7 p.m. and not 6 p.m. as most Saturday games do. The reason for the later start is that the game is being televised by CBC as part of "Hockey Night in Canada.' There is no local TV broadcast of the game.

• Did everyone see the "Mantracker" episode featuring Doan on Science Channel earlier this week? If not, check out this recap of the episode filmed just after the 2010-11 season.

• FYI, Westbound Loop 101 will be closed between State Route 51 and 35th Avenue from 4 a.m. on Saturday until 9 a.m. on Sunday. This will include the I-17 on-ramps to Westbound Loop 101. This closure will impact anyone driving to Saturday’s game from the NE Valley. Just like on opening night, the Coyotes are suggesting an alternate route of SR 51 South to I-10 West to Loop 101 North.

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