GLENDALE – Defenseman Zbynek Michalek feels fortunate he wasn’t seriously injured early in Monday’s game against Buffalo when a dump-in attempt by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen struck him between his upper lip and nose.
Michalek dropped to the ice after the puck struck/cut him and he bled profusely for a few moments before being helped off the ice. A team doctor quickly stitched him up and he returned to the game before the first period ended.
“I’m just a little sore and swollen but it could have been much worse,” Michalek said. “I think I got pretty lucky... It looked worse than it actually was but it scared me. It was like from out of nowhere. All of a sudden it (the puck) came and I was in a lot of pain… I dodged a bullet this time and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”
Michalek was hit in the face by a puck in the 2013 preseason and lost a few teeth. He wore a protective cage on his helmet after that for a few games and practices, but he didn’t care for it and said he won’t wear a cage in the aftermath of this recent injury. He is expected to play on Thursday when the Coyotes host the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena.
• Defenseman Jarred Tinordi has practiced with his new teammates the past two days and Head Coach Dave Tippett has liked what he has seen.
“These last two days have been really good for him,” Tippett said. “He’s a young player and we’ve got to continue to work with him and get him up to speed. He’s got a great attitude (and a) good work ethic. When he gets his opportunity, hopefully he’s ready to go.”
Tippett said Tinordi likely would sit out Thursday’s game vs. San Jose.
• Meanwhile, Tippett said defenseman Klas Dahlbeck, who has missed the past two games as a healthy scratch, will return to the lineup vs. the Sharks.
The Coyotes have a roster with eight healthy defensemen.
“His missing a couple of games had nothing to do with how he’s playing,” Tippett said of Dahlbeck. “It’s just a process that young defensemen go through. It’s good for them to take a step back and watch a couple of games. He’ll go back in tomorrow night and he’ll be a good player for us.”
• Captain Shane Doan will play in his 1,431st game on Thursday. Once he does he will tie Luc Robitaille and Scott Mellanby for 26th place on the NHL’s list for games played.
• The Coyotes will officially salute Doan before Thursday’s game for recently becoming the franchise’s all-time goals scored leader. For more info, click here.
• The radio broadcast for Thursday’s game vs. San Jose has been moved from ESPN Phoenix 620 AM to KTAR News 92.3 FM.