GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes placed goalie Mike Smith on the injured reserve list Monday retroactive to Jan. 23, when he suffered a groin injury in pregame warm-ups and lasted only nine minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Smith is eligible to come off the list for Wednesday’s home game against Edmonton. But he returned to the ice in full gear on Monday for the first time since the injury occurred and he’s not expected to return until at least Friday, when Phoenix is in Dallas for the first of a home-and-home series against the Stars.
The 1-4-0 Coyotes played American Hockey League call-up Chad Johnson against Nashville on Monday night after backup Jason LaBarbera struggled in losses to San Jose and Los Angeles.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday