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'Yotes Notes: Gormley Returns Looking to Stick in NHL

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – Defenseman Brandon Gormley made his season debut for the Coyotes on Tuesday night and played 9:43 in a 3-2 win vs. Toronto at Gila River Arena.

"When you're in a situation we are right here, we're looking for solutions," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Some of that is getting the players that we have to get better, and some of that is trying some new players."

Gormley

The game was the sixth NHL game in Gormley’s career; he played five last season for the Coyotes and was plus-4.

Before the game, Gormley, whom the Coyotes selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, said he was excited to get another chance.

“Some players jump right in and others it takes a while,” Gormley said. “There's lots of great defensemen here, and it's almost a good thing they don't have to rush you. But at the same time, I feel I'm ready to go now and I’ve just got to prove that."

Tippett said he expected Gormley to make the team out of training camp. Having said that, Tippett hopes Gormley doesn’t try to do too much now that he’s back on the roster.

"He doesn't have to feel like he has to make the NHL on his first two shifts," Tippett said. "He has to be just a solid player."

To make room for Gormley, the Coyotes assigned center Justin Hodgman to the American Hockey League. Hodgman notched a power-play goal in his first NHL game but he did not notch a point in his next three.

"You’ve got to dig a little deeper than scoring one goal on the power play," Tippett said. "He's a player that's trying to get into the North American style of game. With (Martin) Hanzal coming back (from injury) and the shift we made with (Sam) Gagner back at center, ‘Hodgie’ was going to be a guy that was probably going to be on the outside looking in and he's a player that's got to keep playing."

• General Manager Don Maloney told the team’s flagship radio station on Wednesday that he likes the way the Coyotes have rallied since losing three straight games last week.

“It’s a long season and that’s what I keep telling people,” Maloney said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We don’t want to overreact to a poor start to our season and yet we realize … we can’t afford to slip too far behind the pack because it’s a long climb up. I’m encouraged by our last two wins.”

He added, “It was a good win last night and hopefully we can carry it on into the weekend.”

The Coyotes play at Anaheim on Friday and vs. the New York Islanders at home on Saturday.

Moss

• Injured forward David Moss skated with teammates at the morning skate on Tuesday, but he wore a non-contact sweater and he did not handle pucks.

"He's going to be skating without pucks for probably another week or so," Tippett said.

Moss suffered an upper-body injury while blocking a shot vs. Minnesota on Oct. 23.

• Gagner started the season by scoring zero goals in his first 10 games with the Coyotes, but he’s scored one each in the past two games. Gagner has averaged 14.4 goals per season in his first seven NHL seasons – all with Edmonton.

• Forward Martin Erat scored his fourth goal of the season on Tuesday to surpass his goal total from all of last season. He scored one goal in 53 games with the Washington Capitals in 2013-14 and two in 17 games with the Coyotes.

• Keith Yandle (47) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (46) rank first and second, respectively, among NHL defensemen in shots on goal.

• Center Martin Hanzal ranks first in the NHL with a 65.5 face-off percentage.

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