Getaway day usually includes a light practice - if any time on the ice - but after dropping two straight, the latter a lopsided shutout courtesy of the San Jose Sharks, the Coyotes held a spirited, 45-minute session Wednesday before catching a flight to St. Louis to start a three-game trip. "You're not willing to work in practice how are you going to work in the game?" coach Dave Tippett said. "That was simple today. We're going to get to work in the practice, and hopefully it carries over into the game." Tippett was the on-ice marshal, whistling the Coyotes through drills and laps around the perimeter of the rink. Winger Lauri Korpikoski wore a blue, non-contact sweater. He's been out the last 10 games with an upper-body injury and the stomach flu. Defenseman Derek Morris was the only one not to participate. He took a maintenance day but is fine to play, Tippett said. And then there's goalie Mike Smith, who stretched and took shots for about 10 minutes before exiting the ice. His status Thursday night against the Blues is unclear, but he's still considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Backup Jason LaBarbera started Monday's 4-0 loss after Smith ruled himself out that morning, and Chad Johnson is also available. He's 2-0-1 with a 1.32 goals-against average and .949 save percentage. Everyone on the roster made the trip. "We laid out a practice plan, and they knew what to expect and we worked," Tippett said. "The guys got out there and worked. That's the first part of the equation. Now it's what you do after the work whether you win or not. We always talk about everybody's going to work but after the work, how deep are you willing to go to make a good play or make a save or defend - whatever you've got to do to give ourselves a chance to win."
Phoenix Coyotes hope work in practice carries over the games
Arizona Republic | Apr 18