GLENDALE – With 24 games left in the season, Coyotes captain Shane Doan is encouraging teammates to ignore the team’s place in the standings and embrace each game as a fresh challenge.
"You only get so many games in your career to play in the NHL and every day you get to do it is an unbelievable privilege," Doan said. "And when it's gone, it's gone and you don't want to feel like you wasted any of it. So, you’d better make sure you bring your best game because it's what you're going to be measured by. For some guys, this is for your (future). For other guys, it's for contracts, for pride. Pride has got to be as big as anything."
Arizona did not practice Thursday. It will on Friday in preparation for a home game vs. Eastern Conference powerhouse Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
The Coyotes last played on Monday and lost to Colorado, 5-2, at Pepsi Center in Denver.
"The young guys were less of the issue," Head Coach Dave Tippett said when asked about that loss. "The bigger issue the other night was our veteran guys that don't like being in this circumstance. There's no other way to put it. It's a tough circumstance to be in."
Tippett said he and his coaches continue to push the team along.
"You keep pounding away and you talk about pride and keeping our identity as an organization and doing things right," he said. "(Our system) relies on everybody. When we're winning, we rely on everybody. Our situation is different now, but we still need to rely on everybody."
• Tippett said center Martin Hanzal underwent successful back surgery on Tuesday. Hanzal hasn’t played since Jan. 29 and is likely out for the season.
• Defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who missed Monday’s game at Colorado because of an upper-body injury, remains day to day. The same goes for forward Alex Bolduc, who also missed Monday’s game at Colorado because of an upper-body injury.
• General Manager Don Maloney discussed the team's approach to the upcoming NHL trade deadline (March 2) on Wednesday morning as a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM - the team's flagship radio station.
"We've made it very clear over the last month or two that we are in a mode of acquiring assets," Maloney said. "So I feel confident we're going to help ourselves. Can we do a couple of great deals? Who knows? Maybe. But the deals we do will help us moving forward. We know looking at our team this year we know we have to be quicker. We need to have a lot more energy into our group. We need to defend better. So all of those areas are going to be addressed. Hopefully a little bit right now at the trade deadline, but certainly in the offseason we think we can do some things to make us certainly a lot more entertaining next year."