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Greetings from Phoenix, which is not living up to its warm reputation. I’m fortunate I packed a jacket for San Jose later in the trip, because the temperatures here have been in the 40s at night and 50s during the day. Not too bad, but not quite “lay at the pool” weather.
The team arrived in Phoenix late Sunday night after the win in Atlanta, and we’ve settled into a nice golf resort in Scottsdale until Thursday’s game against the Coyotes. The place was a little rowdy yesterday with hundreds of Ohio State fans filling the lobby before the Fiesta Bowl They were much more subdued today as they checked out after a heartbreaking loss.
After back to back games during the weekend, yesterday was a day off for the Bolts. For some it was a good day for golf; others explored the many shops and restaurants at the upscale shopping area next door. The resort is less than 10 minutes from the Coyotes’ practice rink located in the foothills of some nearby mountains, but it’s a good 45 minutes from the arena.
The team went through a brisk 75-minute practice at the Alltell Ice Den today, with everyone participating except center Jeff Halpern (body maintenance) and defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who is still in a lot of pain due to the extensive network of stitches throughout his upper lip and mouth. After the way he played Sunday in Atlanta, Meszaros has earned some time off, as well as the respect of his teammates!
Things are looking up on the injury front, as defenseman Paul Ranger practiced hard and is on schedule for Thursday. Goaltender Olaf Kolzig participated in most of the workout and is “day to day” according to Coach Rick Tocchet. Wing David Koci is also getting close to a return, Tocchet said.