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The Desert Dog Blog: Upshall's Comeback on Right Track

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – Coyotes winger Scottie Upshall is off to a solid start with three goals in six games, especially considering he underwent season-ending knee surgery in the middle of last season.

Dave Vest
twitter: @davest4yotes
Aside from his team-leading three goals and 20 shots on goal, Upshall brings an energy to the lineup that can’t be measured with stats.

I spoke with him before the team left for Montreal and asked him how he felt his season was going.

“I think there’s still room for improvement but I’ve got to say the knee has really held up well,” Upshall said.

He added, “Just getting the opportunity to play hockey again and be a contributor is something that I really cherish. Six games in, it’s really tough to say that the knee is good to go, but it’s really held up well and I’m doing some good rehab here, still, to keep it strong. Making sure I maintain that is going to be important. I’m happy where it’s at and will keep going.”

Captain Shane Doan will return from his three-game suspension on Tuesday at Ottawa. It’s been odd seeing Doan hanging around the dressing room after games in a suit the past few games knowing he is healthy.

Doan isn’t enjoying the experience either.

“I can’t wait (for Tuesday’s game),” Doan told me. “This isn’t fun watching… I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Forward Taylor Pyatt and his little brother Tom Pyatt, who plays forward for the Canadiens, went to dinner with their parents on Sunday night in Montreal.

According to the Canadiens web site, Tom treated for the meal as payback for when Taylor treated him last season in Arizona.

“Taylor paid when I was in Phoenix last year,” Tom Pyatt explained. “But to be fair, it was just me then – I’m paying for our parents too.”

Here's Jason "The Situation" LaBarbera proudly showing his six-pack abs at the team's recent Halloween party.
• Coyotes fan Connor Farrell will be attending Monday’s game against Montreal at the Bell Centre. Connor, who is 12, lives in Montreal and, unlike his family members, ranks the Coyotes over the Canadiens on his favorite team list.

I’m told Connor wakes up every morning and quickly checks to find out what happened the night before to his favorite team. Look for him during tonight’s telecast on Fox Sports Arizona wearing a Shane Doan sweater.

• The San Antonio Rampage, aka the Coyotes' affiliate in the American Hockey League, have won five consecutive games. Right wing Mathieu Beaudoin, whom Coyotes fans may remember from training camp, is leading the way with six goals and 12 points.

• Because of Monday Night Football, tonight’s game will not be heard on XTRA Sports 910. Instead, it can be heard on KFNN-AM (1510) on a tape-delayed basis starting at 6 p.m.

• Quick non-hockey observation: I cannot wait to watch the World Series between Texas and San Francisco. Talk about a refreshing matchup! Plus, I am a huge fan of pitching duels, and the thought of watching Cliff Lee battle Tim Lincecum as many as three times is as good as it gets in my book.

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