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Some Links And Notes From Coyotes Practice



I actually got off my lazy ass yesterday and attended a Phoenix Coyotes practice, inspired by the fact that USA Today asked me to write a feature on them.  You can read it here, or *gasp* in the actual newspaper. 

I had a great chat with their GM, Don Maloney – when I asked him if there’s a team he’d like to avoid in the playoffs, he said something along the lines of “I dunno, would you rather be shot, stabbed or hung?  There’s no pushover out there.”  (After some more thought, he did say they struggle most with San Jose, and would prefer to not have to deal with them in round one.)

New Puck Daddy: on flipping the switch to playoff mode early (as teams battling for a spot have to do) and how it affects your team.

New The Hockey News: on the four traits that great coaches share

New USA Today: Power rankings

(…’s been a busy week so far.)


New to me, I dunno.

Fun notes from Coyotes practice:

* Radim Vrbata uses a stick called a “Combat,” which apparently Dustin Brown also uses.  Someone mentioned Brown might be part owner of the company?  I dunno, all I know is they weren’t very pretty.

* Dave Tippett is a fairly intimidating man – not physically, he’s kind of short actually – but the dude means business.  I forgot the walking-on-eggshells feeling that comes with being around a coach who’s either frustrated or in full-on competitive mode….. until yesterday.

* Most of you probably saw this when I tweeted it yesterday, but holy hell is Bryzgalov funny.  He was yelling for the majority of practice, including flexing, staring at his crease and yelling “I own you! I fucking own you, goal!” in that awesome accent of his.

* Tippett’s tone was interesting – he’s not worried about getting home ice, he’s concerned with just making playoffs.  Their “glue guys” are largely out due to injury, and getting points is going to be tough down the stretch.  In general, him and Maloney were very honest with themselves about their team and how they have to play to win.

* Jovonovski was practicing with a full cage and looking damn good doing it.  None of their other injured guys were out there yet, but Tippett thinks that after tonight’s game two or three of Fiddler/Korpikoski/Hanzal could be back.


Hope you’ll check out the columns today – I’ll provide the final links as they post!


8 Responses to “Some Links And Notes From Coyotes Practice”
  1. KForbes says:

    Man, I don’t want to be THAT GUY, but spellcheck…

    Vrbata is using a still?
    Forgoet about Tippett?

  2. Pep says:

    Very nice collection (group?? herd??) of articles Justin. The one on coaches was the best for me. The best coaches are indeed the ones with a nice mix of traits and not only can change but know when the right time to change actually is based on the overal team dynamics, time of year, direction the team is going, etc.

    You might have added the ones that rule by only intimidation (Keenan, Hitchcock, etc) can be successful but only for a short burst of a few years at a time as in the short term the players will respond to the yelling and screaming and play hard. After a couple of years that starts to get old and the players start to tune them out. The overall play of the team starts to tail off since that type has nothing else to offer and the inevitable happens and the coach gets shown the door.

  3. Matty says:


    Combat sticks used to be Ballistik sticks. Small producer. I’ve never seen one on the shelf. I think you have to order the sticks directly from them.

    They have a handful of pro skaters in their stable (I think Jagr is using their stuff) and one goalie I think.

    From a goalie standpoint, their stuff looks OK… but for the price point I’d personally just stick with ol-reliable and go with Sher-woods.

  4. Nick says:

    Maloney’s quote had me cracked up. Hilarious. You sure he knew he was on the record :P ? I’m surprised he admitted to wanting to avoid SJ.

  5. Matt says:

    Funny what you get when you google USA Today Power Rankings:

    So when are those from?

  6. mikeb says:

    Combat has a factory here is Ottawa. They make some killer softball bats. I never liked their sticks… (if they did used to be ballistik) they were always given away as prizes during tournaments.

  7. Yoke says:

    MikeB, they were Ballistik for sure. They were getting rid of some old stock. Like Matty had said, though, you kind of have to know someone.

    Miken is also getting into the hockey stick game, too. I only know one guy that has one, but he seems to like it.

  8. mikeb says:

    I know people that went out and bought Ballistik’s… they were for sale for years in Ottawa, you just had to go to their factory. It was a big seller in the minor hockey crowd for a while, cheaper than a synergy with a better warranty. I know a lot of friends that got them from their parents instead of the fancier ones. But that was years ago… I don’t know anyone that has used one in a while.

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