What feels like an eternity, has only been two weeks since Ed Jovanovski last played for the Coyotes.
Jovanovski, the first overall pick in the 1994 NHL Draft, has missed seven straight games suffering a lower-body injured against Chicago back on Nov. 5.
Since the lower-body injury, the Coyotes are 3-3-1 without their star defenseman. Jovanovski, a potential Olympian for Team Canada, is listed as questionable when the Coyotes travel to Canada, for the first time this season, to take on the Edmonton Oilers.
Since Jovanovski’s absence, the Coyotes have shaken up their lineup to deal with other injuries. Zbynek Michalek, Matthew Lombardi, and Kurt Sauer, three very important pieces to the Coyotes roster, have dealt with injuries this season.
Following Jovanovski’s absence, one player has emerged as a potential impact player for the Coyotes. Shaun Heska, a fellow Canadian, has played in seven games with the Coyotes since being called up from San Antonio. During his time with the Coyotes he has served as an important member on the ice. While he might not be an Olympian like Jovanovkski, he has shown that he deserves to be a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Injuries have impacted the Coyotes greatly this season. After a successful October, the Coyotes have developed a strong case of the injury bug that every team fears. When the Coyotes are healthy they are a playoff team. However, with the absence of several Coyotes, the Coyotes have skated without veteran leadership and guidance.
The Coyotes should not have to rely on Shane Doan and Ilya Bryzgalov to carry the Coyotes into the playoffs. Hockey is a team sport, and with players like Matthew Lombardi returning to the team, the Coyotes are gaining back the missing pieces of their playoff puzzle. Once Jovanovski returns to the Coyotes the final piece of the Coyotes playoff roster will be found.
With December right around the corner (believe it or not) Dave Tippett and the rest of the Phoenix Coyotes should ask Santa for a healthy rest of the season.