Mikael Tellqvist has tended goal against 29 of the 30 NHL teams. He’ll complete the set Thursday night when he starts against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team he played 40 games for over four NHL seasons before coming to the Coyotes in a trade just over two years ago.
Tellqvist is eager to play against the team that drafted him in 2000 and then gave up on him.
“It’s not really just another game because I played there for a long time,” Tellqvist said. “It’s going to be more important, obviously, than any other game, but I’m going to approach it as if it’s any other game.”
The Coyotes enter the game having won two of their past three games. Ditto Toronto.
Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said he would stick with the same lineup he used in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Los Angeles with one exception: defenseman Ken Klee, a healthy scratch on Tuesday, would be back in.
Gretzky said playing solid defense is crucial to beating the Leafs.
“The big thing is they generate a lot of scoring opportunities, they go to the net hard and they play hard,” Gretzky said. “There’s some good speed on their hockey club, and so our challenge is to be strong defensively, and if we can stay composed defensively, we’ll be OK.”