GLENDALE – The Coyotes will be without injured center Boyd Gordon for a while at a key time in the season.
“He’s going to see a doctor tomorrow, but it looks like it’ll be week-to-week,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Sunday’s practice, which Gordon did not take part in.
Gordon suffered the injury when he blocked a shot during Thursday’s game vs. Chicago. He missed Friday’s game at Anaheim, which Arizona lost to extend its winless streak to four games (0-3-1). The Coyotes have 30 games left in the regular season and are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff field looking in.
Gordon is averaging 11:57 of ice time and has notched just two assists in 47 games this season, but the 32-year-old center is a key contributor in the face-off circles for the Coyotes, who lead the NHL with a 53.8 percent success rate. He paces the team at 57.3 percent on 646 draws, and he has won at least 50 percent of his face-offs in 12 straight games and all but eight. He has missed five games this season because of injury. In those games, the Coyotes have won more than 50 percent of the face-offs just twice, and their percentage in those two games was 51 percent.
Gordon also is a trusted penalty killer; he ranks second on the team with 130:00 of short-handed ice time and he has blocked 32 shots.
“He’s been solid and has an impact on the game, not so much on the scoresheet but in the little things he does in the game,” Tippett said. “He’ll certainly be missed but it’s a great opportunity for somebody else.”
The Coyotes are expected to make a roster move this week to counter Gordon’s absence. Centers Dustin Jeffrey, Laurent Dauphin and Tyler Gaudet are possible candidates for recall from the American Hockey League, or the Coyotes could opt to move Kyle Chipchura back to center and recall a winger.
Arizona next plays on Wednesday at home vs. Vancouver and doesn’t practice again until Tuesday.