Goaltender Mikael Tellqvist will return to the net on Tuesday night when the Coyotes take on the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena.
Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky announced after practice on Monday that he is giving Tellqvist his third start in the past four games. The Swedish goaltender also relieved Ilya Bryzgalov in the first period against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
“Telly has been strong and really good,” Gretzky said.
Tellqvist is looking forward to starting again.
“It's always nice when the coach believes in you and your teammates,” said Tellqvist, who has stopped 95 of the past 99 shots he has faced. “It’s a key for a goaltender to feel comfortable and the guys to feel comfortable when you are in there. Hopefully, I can have a good game tomorrow and get a win.”
Gretzky said he believes working hard in practice will be beneficial to Bryzgalov.
“Confidence is a huge part of the game and (Bryzgalov) is lacking a little bit of confidence,” Gretzky said. “We know he is an elite goaltender … he is in a down time right now. He’s worked hard. He will work his way out of this.”WORK ON COVERAGE
The Coyotes spent Monday's practice working on neutral-zone coverage, an area in which Gretzky would like to see improvement.
“That’s one of the things we really wanted to shore up,” Gretzky said. “We want to make it more difficult for teams to gain the red line and blue line.”
Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris
, for one, said it was good to go over neutral-zone coverage before the next game.
“You have tendencies to forget what you have to do in a game because you get so into the game,” said Morris, who has two goals in the past two games. “I think he is just refreshing what we need to do. We need to close up our neutral zone a little tighter. We have to force teams to dump more pucks.”PROSPECT WATCH
Coyotes prospect Colin Long
, who plays with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, is currently fifth in that league in scoring with 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points.
Long participated in the USA’s World Junior Camps this summer in Lake Placid, N.Y. and has an opportunity to play for Team USA at the end of December.