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The Desert Dog Blog: Five Memorable Moments from the First Half of the Season

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes have reached the halfway point of the 2010-11 season and I’m seeing various “report cards” on the Internet grading how they performed over the first 41 games.

Dave Vest
Twitter: davest4yotes
I’m not a big fan of report cards – a quick look at my high school transcripts will reveal why. I can remember telling my parents things like, “C stands for Cerebral” and “Don’t worry, I’ll ace the final exam.” But I digress…

With those humbling memories in mind, I thought I’d mark the halfway point of the season by going in another direction and listing the five most memorable moments, at least from my seat in Glendale.

Let’s begin:

5. MacLean’s first NHL goal: Brett MacLean made his NHL debut on Dec. 29 and punctuated his exciting day by scoring his first NHL goal on his first shot. To quote Miley Cyrus - “That’s Pretty Cool.”

4. Season opener: OK, so I wasn’t at the season opener in Prague on Oct. 9, but I’ll never forget watching it with about 300 fans at the team’s official viewing party at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill in Scottsdale. The atmosphere for the game, which started at 9 a.m., was terrific, and the bacon and eggs were great, too. The best part? Phoenix beat Boston 5-2.

3. Hat tricks: Granted this wasn’t one moment but four as Lee Stempniak, Ed Jovanovski, Vernon Fiddler and Ray Whitney all scored three goals in a game this season (and all on home ice) in a span of 24 days. Take your pick.

2. Doan’s near miss: Coyotes captain Shane Doan thrice this season has flirted with notching his first NHL hat trick. He came the closest on Dec. 11 vs. Dallas when he scored two goals in the first period. Then, with rookie Richard Bachman tending an NHL goal for the first time, Doan played extended shifts late in the game and his teammates tried to get him the puck so he could score a third goal. Once he had it they – and the fans - cheered for him to shoot. He did several times, but he couldn’t complete the hat trick. He will. And I can’t wait to see it.

Photo by Associated Press
1.Off the Skate: I will never forget Kyle Turris’ gutsy, eye-popping, game-winning shootout goal vs. the Islanders on Dec. 18. Using a move he’d honed in practices and in the AHL, Turris skated in, tapped the puck off his right skate, quickly gathered it and wristed it past goalie Nate Lawson, who never knew what hit him. An instant classic, at least in my book. Click here to watch the goal.

Well, there you have them. Oh, and honorable mentions go to emergency goalie Tom Fenton - wherever you are -  and to Paul Bissonnette, just for being you, a.k.a. the 100th Most Powerful and Influential Person in hockey. 

I am looking forward to many more memorable moments in the second half of the season. Aren’t you?

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