GLENDALE – Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett says his team has been its own worst enemy the past two games.
“We’re beating ourselves right now,” Tippett told reporters after Wednesday’s practice at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. “…Teams have played well (against us) but I’d like to see what we can do before I anoint somebody else.”
After beating the New York Rangers, 4-1, in front of a sellout crowd and their new owners at the emotional home opener last Thursday, the Coyotes have dropped their past two games; 4-1 at San Jose on Saturday and 6-1 at the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
“That excitement (of opening night) is not going to carry you through,” Tippett said. “You’ve got to put the work in and the commitment to how you’re going to win.”
He added, “Last night, for the most part, we had some guys that I thought put in good efforts, but good efforts doesn’t win hockey games. You’ve got to finds ways to do things right to win hockey games.”
Prior to Wednesday’s practice, the Coyotes assigned young forwards Chris Brown and Lucas Lessio to the American Hockey League and recalled forwards Tim Kennedy and Brandon Yip
“We’re shaking it up today,” Tippett said. “Both those young guys had good camps but the last couple games haven’t been as good. We’re just looking to stabilize right now with as many veteran guys as we can.”
Yip has played 172 NHL games for Colorado/Nashville. Kennedy has played 125 NHL games for Buffalo/Florida/San Jose. Moreover, both players are NCAA champions: Kennedy with Michigan State in 2007 and Yip with Boston University in 2009.
• The Coyotes on Tuesday played without defenseman Derek Morris, who missed the game because of an upper-body injury. Morris took part in the morning skate but was held out of the lineup. On Wednesday, Tippett said he expects Morris, and perhaps even defenseman Rostislav Klesla, to play on Thursday vs. the Red Wings.
Michael Stone played in place of Morris and logged 18:53 of ice time. Stone, who is wearing sweater No. 26 this season, took one shot on goal, delivered two hits and was minus-2.
• Backup goalie Thomas Greiss, wearing his very unique Yeti-themed mask, replaced Mike Smith to start the third period on Tuesday vs. the Islanders.
Greiss stopped seven of the eight shots he faced in his debut with the Coyotes.
He likely will make his first start of the season at some point on this lengthy trip, which includes games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
• Forward Paul Bissonnette, who missed the first three games of the season because of an NHL suspension, is now eligible to return to the lineup.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in action, slowly but surely,” said Bissonnette, who has been practicing with the team during his suspension. “… I understand my role. Typically I play about 50 percent of the games. My goal is to play well and to help the team any way I can.”
The NHL suspended Bissonnette for 10 games for leaving his team's bench to join an altercation during a preseason game on Sept. 15. Citing a lack of conclusive video evidence to support the automatic 10-game suspension, the League later reduced the suspension to three games.
NOTE: Click here to watch an exclusive Q & A with Paul Bissonnette.