Feb 18, 2011, 3:44 PM EDT
While the Coyotes are locked into a six-game winning streak at the moment, the road ahead is about to get a lot harder without one of their defensive stalwarts. Ed Jovanovski was placed on injured reserve today with a broken orbital bone that will require surgery to repair. It’s a tough blow for Phoenix as Jovanovski’s presence on the blue line with both some offensive touch and a physical presence capable of intimidation.
If there’s an upside for Phoenix here it’s that they’ve had more than a couple instances this season where they got used to playing without Jovanovski in the lineup as he’s missed 12 games this year with other ailments. With five goals and nine assists this year, Jovanovski has been a solid presence along the blue line for Phoenix and an ideal compliment for the likes of Keith Yandle and Adrian Aucoin.
If Phoenix can weather the storm without Jovanovski and continue their rise in the Western Conference they’ll be better off for it. With the race in the Pacific Division being as close as it is as Phoenix leads by one point and is three ahead of last place, any sort of slip up can be costly. David Schlemko was called up to fill in Jovanovski’s place on the roster.
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