SAINT PAUL -- Here are some tidbits from the road on a sunny day in the upper Midwest…
• Defenseman Ed Jovanovski traveled with the team on this brief two-game trip to Minnesota and St. Louis, but he likely won’t play in either game.
|Ed Jovanovski |
I had a chance to chat with Jovanovski after Wednesday’s morning skate at the Xcel Energy Center and asked him for a quick update on his lower-body injury.
“It’s progressing well,” Jovanovski said, “and, you know, it’s one of those things that each and every day I’m getting more comfortable on the ice and we’ll see. As of right now, I can’t put a timetable on what day I am going to come back, but I’ve got to get a little bit stronger on the ice, and when that happens we’ll make the decision to see what day I’m going to play.”
• Forward Peter Mueller was 12-years-old when the Minnesota Wild joined the NHL in 2000. I asked Mueller, who grew up in nearby Bloomington, Minn., if he immediately became a Wild fan.
“Oh yeah, I think everybody here did,” Mueller said. “The Wild did something great for this state. It’s good that they have an NHL team here again. It’s a hockey state."
Mueller again will have family and friends inside the Xcel Energy Center watching him play tonight. He’s played four NHL games in this building but has yet to score a goal, and the Coyotes have lost all four games.
• Head Coach Dave Tippett is baffled by the team’s numerous delay-of-game penalties. Phoenix is averaging one per game over the past eight games.
“That’s a trend that’s got to come out of our games,” Tippett said. “That’s just about having some poise with the puck and not just whacking the thing around. I don’t think anything good happens when you’re just swatting a puck in the air, especially in your defensive zone. You have limited control over it. And I understand it’s a reactionary thing where you’re trying to get it out of a dangerous spot, but you’ve got to have a little more poise than that.”
• Talk about having friends in high places...
In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John McCain spoke to my pal Jim Gintonio of The Arizona Republic at the NASCAR race over the weekend and had this to say about the Coyotes:
“I hope they can stay (in Arizona)," McCain told The Republic. "I hope that the fans will come out. We're going to have to increase the fan base, that's all there is to it. I think winning takes us a long way.”
He added, “So if I would ask our citizenry to do anything, I would ask them to consider coming out to a hockey game and watch this team play."
• Away from hockey, I was saddened to hear about the recent death of TV personality Ken Ober. If you were a teenager or college student in the 1980s like I was, I'm guessing you know that Ober hosted a show on MTV called "Remote Control." It was "Jeopardy" for kids who had a TV set as a babysitter, and I mention this only because I once was a contestant on that show and had the opportunity to meet Ober before we starting taping. We spoke only briefly, but I remember thinking to myself, "This guy really loves his job."
Thanks for reading.