GLENDALE – Like they did last Wednesday, the Coyotes departed for a road trip today that will feature three games in four nights.
Arizona will play at Dallas on Thursday, at San Jose on Saturday and at Anaheim on Sunday.
|Dave Tippett. Photo by Norm Hall. |
The Coyotes left for Dallas having earned five of a possible six points in the past three games. In those games they allowed just two goals in regulation.
“You look at the last three games … there’s been a full commitment to make sure things are done to the maximum,” Head Coach Dave Tippett told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, the team’s flagship radio station. “Guys are paying the price, and with our group that’s what it takes. We have to do that every night if we’re going to be successful.”
For example, the Coyotes have blocked 65 shots in the past three games.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to listen to Tippett's full Q & A.
• Expect Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk to see action in goal on this trip.
“If you look at our schedule, we’ve got nine games in 15 days so … we need them both playing well if we’re going to survive,” Tippett said.
• Center Martin Hanzal, who missed Tuesday’s game vs. Washington because of a lower-body injury, did not practice on Wednesday before the team left for Dallas.
“He tweaked something yesterday,” Tippett said. “We’re going to re-evaluate him in the morning. It’s not a long-term thing, I don’t think. We’ll see where he is at the skate tomorrow morning.”
• Tippett and forward Lucas Lessio had a brief on-ice chat before Wednesday’s practice. Lessio played a very quiet 9:37 on Tuesday in his first game with the team since being recalled from the American Hockey League.
“He said just play your game and stick with your instincts and be confident,” Lessio said regarding his chat with Tippett. “But he also wanted me to know that I have to play within the team structure and play a team game. That’s what I’m here to do and hopefully I can show him more of that tomorrow.”
Lessio admitted he was a bit nervous on Tuesday but he said he got more comfortable as the game progressed.
“It’s a good group of guys here,” Lessio said. “Their work ethic, and the way they battle and play defense-first hockey, it’s really exciting for me. Hopefully I can come in here, settle in, and help these guys win.”
• Defenseman Brandon Gormley did not accompany the team on this trip. However, Tippett said Gormley’s lower-body injury is not as serious as first feared.
“He won’t come on the trip but he’s progressing nicely,” Tippett said. “It’s a lower-body injury but nothing structural.”
Tippett guessed Gormley might be able to skate again as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, forward David Moss also stayed behind. Tippett said if all goes well Moss, who is nursing an upper-body injury, may be able to practice with teammates next week.
Forward Rob Klinkhammer, who missed Tuesday's game because of an upper-body injury, practiced on Wednesday and went on the trip.