GLENDALE – The Coyotes have seven games left in their regular season and Head Coach Dave Tippett is approaching them as if it’s a playoff series against seven different teams instead of just one.
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
“It’s game by game but you’ve got to treat it with the (playoff) mind-set of you have to prepare for a game, play it, get the result and then put it behind you and move on to the next one,” Tippett said. “Right now that’s our mind-set; prepare for every game as hard as we can and try to get the result that we want.”
It takes four wins, of course, for NHL teams to win a playoff series but on Monday Tippett said he thinks his team will likely need to win more than that over the next two weeks to qualify for the postseason.
“It’s going to take a minimum of four (wins),” Tippett said. “That’s just the reality of where we are.”
The Coyotes will play three games in four nights this week starting on Tuesday at home vs. Winnipeg, a team they haven’t beaten this season in two tries at the MTS Centre (0-1-1).
Thomas Greiss is expected to start in net vs. the Jets for the fourth straight game in place of injured starter Mike Smith. Tippett said Smith skated before the team’s practice on Monday but maintained that Smith would not be re-evaluated by the team’s medical staff until later in the week.
Meanwhile, forward David Moss, who suffered a lower-body injury in last Thursday’s game at New Jersey and then missed Saturday’s home game vs. Minnesota, also skated on his own on Monday. Tippett said Moss would skate again Tuesday morning and that he could play in Tuesday’s game.
Defenseman David Schlemko, who has missed the past 12 games because of a lower-body injury, also skated before practice on Monday.
• Tippett gave the players a day off on Sunday and that enabled those who wanted to watch the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to do so.
Defenseman Chris Summers watched as his beloved Michigan Wolverines lost a heartbreaking 75-72 game to Kentucky in an Elite Eight matchup.
“It was a tough loss,” said Summers, who played four seasons at Michigan before turning pro. “I had my Michigan shirt on yesterday so I had a few random people come up and chirp me a little bit. I actually picked Michigan and Michigan State to go to the Final 4. Needless to say my bracket is busted now.”
• Coyotes prospect Jedd Soleway scored the first goal of his career at Wisconsin but it wasn’t enough as the Badgers lost to North Dakota, 5-2, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament over the weekend.
Two other Coyotes prospects, forward Zac Larraza (Denver) and defenseman Connor Clifton (Quinnipiac), also saw their hopes of winning a national title end with losses in the first round.