Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov skipped practice on Tuesday because of tightness in his back, and his status for Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Jobing.com Arena is unclear.
Asked if Mikael Tellqvist would definitely start in place of Bryzgalov, Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said not necessarily.
“I’ve told Telly to be ready,” Gretzky said. “When (Bryzgalov) left yesterday he was fine…If he has any tightness at all tomorrow, then obviously Telly is going to play.”
Gretzky said the Coyotes plan to recall goaltender Josh Tordjman form their top affiliate in San Antonio on an emergency basis.
With only one healthy goaltender available for Tuesday’s practice, Gretzky turned to Sergey Kocharov, the team’s Director of Media Relations, to fill in for the nearly 90-minute workout.
"Sergey did great," forward Steven Reinprecht said with a smile. "We’re going to have to work on his conditioning a little bit – he was lagging behind a little bit in the skating drill - but he stood in there, took all the shots that were coming head-high at him and did great.”
The Coyotes spent most of Tuesday’s practice working on their power-play attack, which ranks 28th in the league (13.9 percent).
“Our entries haven’t been very good and obviously our puck pursuit in our offensive zone hasn’t been as good as we’ve wanted it to be and, quite frankly, our playmaking ability hasn't been as good as it needs to be in the National Hockey League, so we spent some time working on that today,” Gretzky said.
Look for defensemen Zbynek Michalek and Derek Morris
to play the points on Wednesday night.
Also look for rookie Viktor Tikhonov
to be back in the lineup after being scratched the past three games.
These were the forward lines at Tuesday’s practice:Mikkel Boedker
-Olli Jokinen-Enver Lisin
Todd Fedoruk-Peter Mueller-Shane Doan
Kevin Porter-Steven Reinprecht-Joakim Lindstrom
Daniel Winnik-Martin Hanzal-Viktor Tikhonov