Desert Dog Blog – Jovanovski close to returning from injury
GLENDALE — After a rare day off on Sunday, the Coyotes resumed practicing on Monday morning at Jobing.com Arena.
Defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who has missed the past five games because of a lower-body injury suffered on Jan. 13 vs. Toronto, skated with teammates. He is hoping to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s home game against Edmonton.
“I had a good skate today,” Jovanovski said after the 45-minute workout. “We’ll see how it goes at the morning skate (on Tuesday) and make the decision then.”
Defensemen Derek Morris and Michal Rozsival, both nursing lower-body injuries, did not skate with teammates on Monday. Morris, who was injured in Thursday’s game at Los Angeles and missed Saturday’s game, is more likely to play on Tuesday than Rozsival, who suffered his injury in the second period of Saturday’s game.
Captain Shane Doan also did not skate on Monday but he said he expects to play Tuesday despite “the bump” he’s been dealing with since Saturday’s game.
• Head Coach Dave Tippett on Monday stressed to his players – and to the media – that there are two important games (Tuesday vs. Edmonton and Wednesday at Colorado) to play before the four-day break for the NHL All-Star Game this weekend.
“I don’t want to talk about the break yet,” Tippett said when I asked him about trying to enter the break on a posiitve note with two wins. “I want to talk about (playing) Edmonton tomorrow… We’ll worry about the break two days from now. They’re very important games. It’s obvious the break will come at a very good time for us, but the message today was what do we have to do to make sure that we (win) this home game tomorrow. That’s all we’re concentrating on.”
Regarding the Edmonton Oilers, who are 0-4-1 in their past five games, Tippett said: “If you look at their lineup they’re a good, young team and they have some really high-end talent that plays the game very fast. They’re a team that’s hungry for credibility and every time they can go out and play well they add to that credibility. They’re a dangerous team.”
• FYI, here’s one for those readers who love milestones: the Coyotes are four wins shy of reaching 500 since moving from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996.
• I had a chance to speak with rookie Oliver Ekman-Larsson about the upcoming NHL All-Star Game and his scheduled participation with other rookies in the skill challenges on Saturday. The 19-year-old Swede said he does not know yet which event(s) he will take part in. Asked which player he’s most looking forward to meeting, he said Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, aka his idol.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reach Dave Vest at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at davest4yotes.
For information on upcoming Phoenix Coyotes games, please visit http://coyotes.nhl.com