The mood was light in Phoenix this afternoon as the Coyotes practiced in advance of Sunday’s Western Conference finals Game 1 against the LA Kings.
Following the skate, Don Maloney, Dave Tippett, Shane Doan, Mike Smith and Keith Yandle sat and shot the breeze with reporters about a variety of subjects: Smith’s Wikipedia entry, Doan’s observations of Ray Whitney (“he’s a lot older”) and Yandle’s take on Jonathan Quick.
That last one was kind of interesting. Here’s how it went:
REPORTER: Keith, could you talk about the goaltending matchup in this series, two hottest goalies in the league. The fact that you have the ability to get a few past Pekka Rinne, a pretty good goalie, in the last round?
YANDLE: Yeah, we faced two good goalies so far with Crawford and Rinne. We’ve been able to solve them. We know Quick is a good goalie, great goalie, playing well. We got more confidence in our net minder than theirs.
DOAN: And he’s friends with Quick.
(I think this might be a New England thing — Yandle, 25, is from Milton, MA. and Quick, 26, is from Milford, CT.)
Other things we learned from Saturday’s presser:
— According to Doan, Yandle’s nickname is “Jelly”.
— Smith says backup goalie Jason LaBarbera came up with their celebratory handshake:
— Maloney corrected a reporter who asked about Whitney’s three-year deal. “I wish it was three, because it was only two,” he said. “Unfortunately [Whitney’s] up at the end of this year.”