GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes coach Dave Tippett didn’t like the result of Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Kings in an exhibition game in Los Angeles, but he liked the way his team played a whole lot more than the previous night in a 5-1 loss to the Kings in Bakersfield, California.
“Very competitive game,” Tippett said. “We had a lot of players play really well. It was a very encouraging game coming out of the Bakersfield game where I didn’t like a lot of things about our game.”
Tippett singled out defenseman Klas Dahlbeck as a player who showed well in Los Angeles due to his physical and positional presence.
The Coyotes have four more preseason games left, plus Thursday’s Red and White scrimmage, to evaluate and narrow their roster down to the 23 players who will be here on opening night.
“As each game goes by, you see people starting to separate themselves, for good or for bad,” Tippett said. “Those are the things we’re looking for. There are some decisions that are going to get tougher and tougher.”
The Coyotes reduced their training camp roster by seven players on Wednesday.
Goalie Tyler Beskorowany, forwards Greg Carey, Dan O’Donoghue and defensemen Steven Delisle, Justin Hache and James Melindy were assigned to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. Forward Christian Fischer, the team’s 2015 second-round pick (32nd overall), was assigned to Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Coyotes have 49 players remaining in camp. Tippett expects to whittle that number after the Red and White scrimmage on Thursday, and he hopes to have the number down to 30 or 35 before Monday, but he admits it will be a challenge.
“Last year at this stage we got right to 27,” Tippett said. “There’s much harder decisions this year.”
Thursday’s scrimmage will feature three 20-minute periods and a 3-on-3 overtime period for five minutes. There are no plans for a shootout.
DAUPHIN LEAVES CAMP
Center prospect Laurent Dauphin left camp for personal reasons this week. There is no timeline for his return.
Dauphin was scheduled to conduct an interview with Arizona Sports on Saturday when he received a phone call that led to its cancellation. The team had no further comment on his status.
Dauphin didn’t participate in the final day of prospect camp for precautionary reasons after crashing hard into the boards during a scrimmage. Since Dauphin won’t make the team, he may not return to camp. When he’s ready to return, he will likely be assigned to Springfield.
Tippett still isn’t sure if Shane Doan (lower body) will take part in the Red and White scrimmage on Thursday.
Center Tyler Gaudet (upper body) is still day-to-day. Forward Patrick Dwyer (groin) practiced Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s game. Dwyer, 32, is in camp on a professional tryout. He had five goals and 12 points in 71 games for Carolina last season — a team with which he spent the last 6-plus seasons.