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DDB: Maloney analyzes first five games

GLENDALE – So, what do we know about the 2011-12 Coyotes
after five games?

Certainly there have been some highs and some lows already
in the young season.

I asked General Manager Don Maloney what he thought on
Wednesday after the team’s practice inside Jobing.com
Arena.

“We’ve seen some extremes, that’s for sure,” Maloney said.
“In the two games we lost in regulation we played as
poorly as we could ever play. On the positive side, we
played a really good game in Nashville and a really good
game here against Winnipeg and a good game in Dallas where
maybe we deserved a better fate. So, it’s been five games
of feast or famine, with nothing in between. But we
certainly need to play better against the top teams and we
will play better. We’re still looking at our group and
trying to establish our identity.”

Maloney said playing better defense is crucial to the
team’s success.

“We’re not a talented enough team to just waltz into a
game without a very strict adherence to our game plan,”
Maloney said. “I thought we got away from it last night
and we looked overwhelmed, like we did in the first game
against San Jose.”

Maloney has liked what he has seen from some of the team’s
younger players.

“Oliver Ekman-Larsson has had a great start to the season
and is doing everything we need and know he can do,”
Maloney said. “And it’s not just the points, it’s the
defending and the puck movement. Mikkel Boedker, even
though he hasn’t had a ton of points, has brought a high
energy and tempo and pace to our lineup and that is
something that we have to have. David Schlemko has done a
nice job as well.”

The Coyotes are 2-2-1 after five games with a favorable
schedule in front of them over the next few weeks.

“This is a very important time for us because we have a
lot of home games coming up and a lot of rest between
games,” Maloney said. “We can really help ourselves by
playing well here at home.”

Next up is a home game against the Los Angeles Kings on
Thursday night.

“The one encouraging for me is that we did respond very
well after the opening night loss in San Jose,” Maloney
said. “I expect the same tomorrow night.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Contact Dave Vest at thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com and
follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.
For information on upcoming Phoenix Coyotes games, please
visit
http://coyotes.nhl.com


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