GLENDALE – After five days away from hockey, the Coyotes reassembled at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Monday morning and departed for a five-game road trip.
The team narrowly beat Winter Storm Juno to Philadelphia then practiced at Wells Fargo Center in preparation for Tuesday’s game vs. the Flyers.
|Dave Tippett. Photo by Norm Hall. |
"We needed to get in here (and practice)," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Fortunately, the weather gave us that opportunity. We’ll see where it goes tomorrow, but it’s good to be back on the ice and get moving."
Regarding Tuesday’s game, Tippett said he expects both teams to be rusty after the NHL All-Star break.
"You have to play a simple, hard game," Tippett said of the first game back. "Everybody’s going to be in the same boat when they’re off for a week. You’ve got to get in and not overcomplicate the game."
The Coyotes will enter Tuesday’s game looking to snap a six-game winless streak (0-5-1).
“What we’ve done up to this point is unacceptable and we have to be better,” captain Shane Doan said. “The last game in Chicago (a 6-1 loss) was embarrassing.”
• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson did not skate on Monday because his travel plans from Columbus, where he competed in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, were disrupted by Juno.
• New backup goalie Mike McKenna practiced with the team for the first time since being recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League.
McKenna, who has 21 games on his NHL resume, was having a solid season in the AHL before being recalled. The 31-year-old posted a 16-13-2 record with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 32 games with the Pirates.
"It’s always great to be back up in the National Hockey League," McKenna said. "It’s a privilege. No matter your age, it’s always a thrill and something you look forward to."
• The Coyotes will play all five games on this trip minus forward Mikkel Boedker, who leads the team with 14 goals. Boedker is recovering from a ruptured spleen and is considered week to week.
• Forward Lucas Lessio and defenseman Andrew Campbell have joined the team after being recalled from the AHL.