The Coyotes returned to the ice at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday morning for their first practice since arriving home from the Czech Republic early Monday.
With the two overseas games against Boston now history, the challenge shifts to shaking off the jet lag and preparing for Saturday’s home opener against the Detroit Red Wings.
“Today was more of a day to try to get your body back on the regular time zone,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Tuesday’s practice. “(There was) just lots of good work today and we’ve got the rest of the week to prepare for Detroit.”
And using the whole week to prepare for the Red Wings is exactly what Tippett thinks is needed after spending a week in Europe.
“The people I’ve talked to, coming back from Europe, (say) you need a few days,” Tippett said. “The first couple of days, you’re getting your body acclimated again and then have a couple of good practice days to get yourself, just everything back to normal. The schedule is set up the way it is by design; we wanted a little time between getting back and our first game.”
Captain Shane Doan
said shaking off the jet lag will take some time, but it shouldn’t be a big problem.
“It’ll take a couple days to get your mind back in the right spot,” Doan said. “We’re creatures of habit, but fortunately it’s early in the season, so it’s not like they’ve (habits) been formed too much, but we’ll get going back to normal again.”
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to starting the season in Europe was the team bonding that the already close-knit group experienced on the trip.
“Being together for seven or eight days, just the guys, I think it’s always good,” defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. “To do it overseas, I think it’s a little different than a week-long road trip here, but all the guys had a great time out there and the guys really enjoyed Prague.”
Doan said his teammates made the lengthy journey more bearable.
“I know things about people that I don’t want to know now, but it was fun, we had a good time, we have a really good group of guys,” Doan cracked. “That makes it enjoyable. If you’re stuck … doing something you don’t enjoy, the people make it a lot longer. But this room is very close and it’s a good group.”
Doan also said it’s imperative for the Coyotes to put the trip to Europe behind them so they can focus on Saturday night’s home opener.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun with that one and enjoy it,” Doan said. “… We have to establish that this is a place that we play well at (and) when teams come in here it’s going to be a tough night.”NOTES
► The pack mentality from last year is alive and well.
"I don't know if we'll ever have a go-to No. 1 line," Tippett said after being asked about his team's offense. " ... Our lines really aren't numbered one, two, three, four. Each game we're hoping for somebody to step up."
► Defenseman Derek Morris
, who did not play in the two games vs. Boston in Prague because of a lower-body injury, practiced with teammates on Tuesday.
► Asked for an update on the status of center Kyle Turris, who was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the season, Tippett said: "He's worked awful hard, and going over there we wanted to give the first game to our veteran players, the guys that were here last year and (we) went with the same lineup the second night... Kyle will get in the lineup very soon."
► Reminder: Please be advised that all team practices will be closed to the public this season.