One such experiment the Coyotes are conducting involves utilizing forward Mikkel Boedker on the point on power plays - across the blue line from his good pal Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Head Coach Dave Tippett said the Coyotes are looking to replace Keith Yandle on the power-play point and that Boedker might prove to be a good option because he has the right skills for the job: a good shot, creativity, the ability to find open teammates, etc.
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
“I’ve played point on the PP in junior and in the AHL but never at the NHL level so it’s going to be a challenge,” Boedker said. “I always welcome new challenges. So far it’s been a lot of fun, and having a player of Oliver’s caliber on the other point will be a big help. Hopefully we can make it work.”
Boedker and Ekman-Larsson at times played the power-play points together when both were honing their skills for San Antonio in the American Hockey League. They both remember decent chemistry back then and are hoping they can develop it again as NHLers.
With Ekman-Larsson leading the way with 10 power-play goals, the Coyotes ranked seventh in the NHL in power-play efficiency last season at 20.0 percent.
► Prospect Tyler Gaudet hasn’t skated since suffering an upper-body injury during Sunday’s scrimmage at Gila River Arena.
Tippett said Gaudet is considered day-to-day.
“It’s too bad because he had an excellent camp,” Tippett said. “He’s a big, strong kid that plays the game the right way so he’s got a great future ahead of him.”
Tippett said he spoke with Gaudet on Tuesday morning and he expects the young center to keep working hard off the ice despite being sidelined.
“He understands that this is an injury and injuries happen,” Tippett said. “He’s just got to make sure he gets healed up. The one thing about that kid is you know he’ll put in the work. If it can get healed quicker, he’s putting in the work. He’s a dedicated young man.”
► Captain Shane Doan skated with teammates on Tuesday after missing the past three skates because of a lower-body injury.
► Prospect Anthony Duclair scored Arizona’s lone goal in the preseason opener vs. Los Angeles on Monday night at Bakersfield, Calif.
|Dave Tippett. Photo by Norm Hall. |
Goalie Anders Lindback played the entire game for the Coyotes and stopped 39 of 44 shots in a 5-1 loss.
After the third period, the teams played an exhibition 3-on-3 overtime session that lasted just 39 seconds thanks to a goal by LA’s Tyler Toffoli.
The Coyotes will play two more preseason games with an exhibition 3-on-3 overtime session: vs. San Jose on Sept. 25 and vs. San Jose again on Oct. 2.
“It’ll be a work in progress here, but I’m excited about it,” Tippett said regarding the new 3-on-3 OT format. “It’s going to be exciting for the fans. Watching a lot of the American League stuff, I usually don’t watch games with sound on but there was some sound on and the announcers were going crazy. (There were) breakaways all over the place. We’ll see how it goes.”
► The Coyotes will play an intra-squad game on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at Gila River Arena. The game is free and open to the public and there will be no charge for parking. Fans who cannot attend can watch via live stream at ArizonaCoyotes.com. Coyotes Radio personalities Bob Heethuis and Luke Lapinski will provide play-by-play coverage during the live stream.