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Q & A with John Anderson

Wednesday, 11.16.2011 / 5:40 PM / Features
Phoenix Coyotes
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com recently chatted with Coyotes Assistant Coach John Anderson to check in about how things are going for him with his new team.

The highlights of their conversation are below, in Q & A format:

John Anderson
Q: John, please sum up how things have gone for you so far as a first-year member of the Coyotes’ coaching staff?

A: “Well, first of all, Dave Tippett is very professional and very organized, so me fitting in here has been pretty simple. Plus, we’ve known each other for a couple of years and coached against each other for a couple of years, so that has made the transition really good. (Associate Coach) Jimmy Playfair and I drive to the rink together almost everyday and we’ve gotten along really well. It’s been a good fit for me so far.”

Q: What are your impressions of this team at this point in the season and is this a team that’s easy to coach?

A: “Not knowing our guys coming in, I’m pleasantly surprised. We have a lot more talent than what people give us credit for, honestly. Shane Doan is a wonderful leader. The leadership is wonderful in the room and yes, the players are easy to coach. We’ve got a lot of young guys who are really open to learning stuff. Guys like Mikkel Boedker and Lauri Korpikoski are like learning sponges.”

Q: Coming from the Atlanta Thrashers, who played in the Eastern Conference, is it safe to assume that Dave Tippett asks you for added insight when the Coyotes play Eastern Conference teams like they’re doing this week on this road trip.

John Anderson. Photo by Norm Hall.
A: “Yes, he does, because I’ve seen the opposing coaches a little bit more and the teams, but hockey’s hockey and I don’t think it’s that difficult to decipher. But me knowing those teams and the way they play does help, and having added information about them could mean the difference between winning and losing a game.”

Q: Would you talk about this road trip? It’s only November and it’s not a “do-or-die” situation, but still, a good showing on this trip could really help define the season, could it not?

A: “Every game is important. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how tight the races are out here in the West, so every point is important. If you look at this road trip it’s almost overwhelming. We’re playing really good hockey teams on the road and it’s a long road trip. I think it’s our longest of the year, so it’s a little daunting. So, the only thing we can do is take it game-by-game, and put all of our focus into that one game, and then wipe the slate clean and go again. Doing that becomes a little more manageable mentally and hopefully our prosperity will help what will happen.”

John Anderson. Photo by Getty Images.
Q: Lastly John, how are you enjoying living and working in Arizona?

A: “Well, the first couple of weeks I was here I don’t think it got below 105 degrees, so that took some getting used to, but I figure I’m Arizona spoiled right now because when the weather drops below 60 degrees I’m shivering. But I’ve enjoyed it. I think the really neat thing is that you get up every morning and it’s sunny out, so it picks you up right away. And I find the people here are upbeat, a lot more than anywhere else… I’ve been loving it.”
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