The Coyotes, who own the fourth-highest point total in the NHL, resumed practice Wednesday afternoon at the Alltel Ice Den. Phoenix will begin its post-Olympic schedule and a four-game homestand on March 2 vs. the St. Louis Blues.
Olympians Ilya Bryzgalov, Sami Lepisto and Zbynek Michalek were not present at Wednesday’s practice, which lasted about an hour. Forward Petr Prucha was there, but he did not skate with teammates. Prucha, who suffered an upper-body injury in Phoenix’s last game before the Olympic break on Feb. 13, is expected to skate on Thursday.
“There was not a lot of thinking, just a lot of doing today,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “We’ve had a few guys skating on their own but when you’ve had a couple weeks off you’ve just got to get back into it. Today was kind of a grind day with lots of heavy skating. The next two days will be a little more like a normal practice rather than a hard skating practice.”
Coyotes captain Shane Doan
said it felt good to get back on the ice.
"Some guys skated a couple times (during the break), but not for real," Doan said. "To go for real today it's one of those things where you just make sure you've got everything feeling proper and you get sweat and you burn your legs a liitle bit."
to listen to defenseman Keith Yandle
discuss the first day back at practice and the Olympics.
Forward Brett MacLean
, defenseman David Schlemko
and goalie Joel Gistedt were the newcomers at Wednesday’s practice. MacLean and Schlemko were recalled from the team’s top affiliate in the AHL on Tuesday. Gistedt was recalled from the team’s ECHL affiliate on Wednesday to fill in for Bryzgalov at the practices leading up to Tuesday’s game.
MacLean, who has notched 24 goals and 21 assists in 55 AHL games this season, is hoping to get a chance to make his NHL debut on Tuesday.
“These practices are tough practices and it doesn’t hurt to have a couple extra bodies around,” Tippett said. “… He‘s earned the right to come up here for a couple days and we'll see where it goes from there.”
The Coyotes again will practice at the Ice Den on Thursday at 11 a.m.