Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content
Center Olli Jokinen’s streak of consecutive games appears to be over.
Jokinen suffered a shoulder injury in the first period of Wednesday night’s game, his 397th in a row, and most likely is out indefinitely.
Jokinen was injured when he was checked by Blue Jackets defenseman Marc Methot behind the Columbus net about seven minutes into the first period.
Jokinen was not available for comment, but Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said, “I got hurt like that when I played one time and it’s not really a hard hit (he absorbed), it’s a matter of getting your shoulders pinched, and that seems to be what happened. We’ll see what happens when we get home.”
Through 21 games, Jokinen ranks second on the team with 18 points.
David Hale’s goal on Wednesday was his first in 231 NHL games. No other player has waited that long to score his first NHL goal since the league expanded in 1979-90.
“It feels great,” Hale said. “… I’m just glad that it didn’t bounce off a foot. Even if it did, I’d take it. I’m pretty happy right now.”
Russell Brooks - the team’s Coordinator of New Media, did some quick research – some serious, some goofy – regarding Hale’s goal and reports that Hale last scored a regular-season goal on Nov. 5, 2005, when he was playing for the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats.
Brooks also notes that at Hale’s NHL goal-scoring pace, it would take him 206,514 games to tie Gretzky’s 894 career goals. Apparently, that would take 2,518 NHL seasons.
I warned you some of the research was goofy.
Seriously, congrats to Hale.
Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris
missed his third consecutive game on Wednesday because of an upper body injury, but he didn’t sit idly by watching the game from the press box eating popcorn and pretzels. Instead, Morris served as color analyst for the Coyotes Radio Network in the first and third periods, filling in for Tyson Nash, who had to leave the team temporarily.
I’ve always thought Morris would be a great color analyst someday because when he answers my questions he always provides unique insight and he rarely dips into the cliché pool.
After Wednesday’s morning skate, I asked Morris if he thought he might consider going into TV broadcasting after he retires.
“Look at this face. No way,” Morris said with a smile before turning somewhat serious. “It’s easy for me to joke around with those guys (on the air) … but I don’t think I could carry a whole game.”
I then asked Morris how it felt to miss three games in four days after not missing any the past two seasons.
“It’s frustrating but you have to have a good attitude because the guys in the dressing room are having a tough time right now, and if I come in moping and pouting that just adds to it,” Morris said. “So, I try to keep a positive attitude.”
Like Morris, injured forward Daniel Winnik also skated on Wednesday morning and later filled in for Nash alongside radio play-by-play man Bob Heethuis during the second period of Wednesday’s game. Both Winnik and Morris did fine jobs filling in.
Before Wednesday’s game, I asked Gretzky a quick state-of-the union-like question regarding the one thing or player that has most pleased him after the first 20 games.
His response: “I don’t think it’s just one thing. It’s a combination of things. I’m pleased with our attitude, I’m pleased with their work ethic, and I’m extremely happy with their commitment to defense. Those are all positives. Obviously, when you’re not winning there are some negatives, but I think our positives have definitely outweighed our negatives.”
Did you know that if voting for the NHL All-Star Game ended today the six starters for the Eastern Conference would all be Montreal Canadiens?
Fan voting determines the starters for the annual All-Star Game and so far the Canadiens, who are hosting the game as part of their 100-year anniversary celebration, are leading the way at every position. Two weeks into the voting, goaltender Carey Price, defensemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek, and forwards Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay are the top vote-getters for the six Eastern Conference starting lineup spots.
The NHL All-Star Game will be played at the Bell Centre on Jan 25.
Thanks for reading.