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The Desert Dog Blog: Players React to Tippett's 100th Win with Coyotes

Sunday, 11.06.2011 / 4:58 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – Dave Tippett won his 100th game as the head coach of the Coyotes on Saturday night in franchise-record fashion. Tippett needed just 177 games to reach the milestone that only three other coaches have reached in the 32-year history of the Coyotes/Jets franchise. None of the others – Bob Francis, Wayne Gretzky or John Paddock – did it that quickly. It's not even close.

Dave Tippett
After the game, a reporter asked Tippett to comment on reaching the 100-win mark in the desert. Tippett’s response was short and sweet: "It is what it is. I like to win, so I have no problem with that."

Tippett, who guided the Coyotes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his first two seasons with the club, has never posted a losing season as an NHL head coach since becoming one for the Dallas Stars in 2002. Only once has one of his teams not qualified for the NHL post-season during that span (in 2008-09).

Coyotes captain Shane Doan has played under seven head coaches in his NHL career. He says Tippett is a winner, and that the culture inside the dressing room has changed since Tippett’s arrival.

“He’s a great coach and he does a great job of getting the most out of his players,” Doan said. “Because of that we’ve had opportunities to be successful. I think all the players enjoy playing for him so much because he counts on everybody to contribute. He stresses and stresses and stresses that hockey is a team game, and that’s what makes playing for him so fun.”

Photo by Getty Images.
Defenseman Derek Morris agrees.

“He’s a really good players’ coach and he knows how to get the best out of his players,” Morris said. “And he knows how to make whoever he has out on the ice play well… He can be hard on us at times, but he does that because he knows how to get the best out of his players. He knows that sometimes he has to yell at us and sometimes he needs to leave us alone and give us a little more rope.”

Morris added that one of Tippett’s biggest strengths is his ability to make tactical changes during a game.

“We play our system well, but he knows how to adjust as the game is going on,” Morris said. “He’s not stubborn in his system. He adjusts and I think that’s a tribute to why he has so many wins.”

Defenseman Keith Yandle likes the way Tippett holds all of the players accountable for their effort and performance.

Photo by Getty Images.
“He’s a guy you want to play for and a guy you want to win for,” Yandle said. “It’s no secret that we don’t have any superstars here. We don’t have guys who are going to score 50 or 60 goals or get 100 points. It takes a collective effort in every game for us to win. We all have to play together to win and the fact that we’ve been successful that way is a testament to ‘Tipp’ and the coaching staff. We have to play hard for our wins and grind them out over a long season. But he makes sure that happens and we’ve gotten rewarded by making the playoffs the past two years.”

Yandle said the players didn’t know Tippett’s victory on Saturday night was his 100th with the Coyotes. The news surprised him, but only for a second.

“To get 100 wins in two years and a month is a great accomplishment,” Yandle said after processing the information. “It just shows exactly how good of a coach he is.”

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