GLENDALE – The Coyotes are slated to play their third of six preseason games on Friday at San Jose, but up next is the annual Red & White Intra-Squad Game on Thursday at Gila River Arena.
Forty or so of the remaining players in camp will be divided into two teams for a regulation three-period game that will be followed by a 3-on-3 overtime session regardless of the score at the end of the third period. A three-man shootout also is planned.
The game, which will start at 6:15 p.m., is open to the public at no charge. Parking is free too.
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
While the game will be fun for the fans – and the players who will compete against their pals for bragging rights – General Manager Don Maloney and Head Coach Dave Tippett plan to evaluate talent, especially the younger players, as they would in a standard preseason game.
In other words, it’s not a day off for anybody.
“As each game goes by, you see people starting to separate themselves, for good or for bad,” Tippett said. “Those are the things we’re looking for. There are some decisions that are going to get tougher and tougher.”
Forward Joe Vitale played in the intra-squad game for the first time a year ago and recalls a high-level of intensity.
“I remember last year I thought it was going to be a lot more laid back than it was,” Vitale said. “It kind of shocked me on those first few shifts. Guys were skating really hard. And that’s healthy… There are a lot of younger guys here in camp and those guys are flying around with energy, and as a veteran player that lifts you up and gives you a boost... Everyone is trying to make an impression on the coaching staff and everyone’s trying to feel more confident with the players around them and just build momentum towards their game heading into the final week or so of camp.”
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Tippett said captain Shane Doan may not play in the game as he continues to nurse a lower-body injury. Other injured players not expected to play include Tyler Gaudet and Jordan Szwarz.
Prospect Laurent Dauphin will not play in the game because he has left training camp for personal reasons, Tippett said.
Tippett hopes to see the type of play he witnessed during Tuesday's exhibition game vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The Kings won, 3-2 in overtime, but Tippett liked what he saw.
“We had a lot of players play really well," Tippett said. "It was a very encouraging game coming out of the Bakersfield game where I didn’t like a lot of things about our game.”
Dylan Strome and Jordan Martinook scored goals for the Coyotes on Tuesday.
LINEUPS FOR THURSDAY'S GAME