The Jets fired coach Claude Noel on Sunday and replaced him with Paul Maurice. Maurice arrived in Winnipeg on Sunday evening and met with his new players briefly Monday before the team's morning skate.
Before Noel departed he shuffled the Jets' lines and defensive pairings several times. The changes culminated with the move of defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to the team's top line this past Saturday in Noel's final game behind the Jets' bench, a 6-3 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Maurice shuffled the lines again Monday. With Evander Kane (hand) expected to miss his second straight game, Michael Frolik will join captain Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little on the first line. Byfuglien will skate with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi while leading goal-scorer Blake Wheeler will play alongside Mark Scheifele and Chris Thorburn. Forward Eric Tangradi (flu) missed the morning skate and is not expected to play.
Asked what he expects from his new team against Phoenix, Maurice admitted that he does not know what to expect.
"I'm going to be completely honest with you," he said. "Your guess is as good as mine."
Maurice will not change much else for the Jets systems-wise against Phoenix due to the quick turnaround. But he put the Jets through a brisk morning skate as the players auditioned for the first time in front of their new coach.
"I think everyone was kind of on edge," Little said. "I think it's the first time I've ever seen guys nervous in the [morning] skate."
Fresh off a 5-3 home loss against the Anaheim Ducks this past Saturday, the Coyotes arrived in Winnipeg with three wins in their past 10 games and one victory during their just-completed five-game homestand.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said he expected to see an energetic opponent in the Jets.
"It does [create] a boost in energy," Tippett said of the coaching change. "Everybody is trying to show what they can do for the new [coach]. We expect them to be very competitive and juiced up. But on the other side we're concentrating on what we have to do and making sure everything is in order."
Here are the probable lineups for the Coyotes and Jets:
Injured: Zbynek Michalek (hip)