Yotes notes: Smith undergoing further tests

Dec 14, 2015, 6:29 PM
Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, left, deflects a puck as St. Louis Blues' Magnus Paajarvi watche...

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, left, deflects a puck as St. Louis Blues' Magnus Paajarvi watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was undergoing further tests on Monday for a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the past two games while landing him on injured reserve.

“Hopefully, this week we’ll get more details,” coach Dave Tippett said.

Center Martin Hanzal is also on IR with a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the past three games. Hanzal was on the ice when the Coyotes began practice Monday but he left about halfway through it.

“Hopefully, he’ll go through the other half tomorrow,” Tippett said.

Hanzal is eligible to come off IR whenever he is ready. Smith is eligible to come off IR on Tuesday. The Coyotes do not play again until Thursday vs. Columbus.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

The Coyotes did a lot of three-on-three drills in Monday’s practice, but no, they were not specifically designed for overtime. Tippett wanted to focus on three areas in which the Coyotes need improvement.

“Defending the rush, arriving in (the) D-zone and some neutral-zone regroups,” he said. “It’s still a work in progress.”

DVORAK HONORED

Coyotes forward prospect Christian Dvorak was named Ontario Hockey League Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 13. Dvorak led the league with seven points (three goals) in two games. This is the second time in three weeks he has won the award for the London Knights, who have won nine straight games.

Dvorak has points in 17 straight games and holds the second longest active point-streak in the OHL behind teammate Mitchell Marner’s 19-game streak.

Dvorak leads the OHL with 65 points (28 goals) in 27 games. He was a second-round pick (58th overall) of the Coyotes in the 2014 NHL Draft. He is one of eight OHL players including teammates Matthew Tkachuk and Tyler Parsons invited to attend the U.S. National Junior Team Selection Camp.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOT SO SPECIAL

With three days to practice before his team’s next game, Tippett has designated Tuesday as a big day for special teams work. The Coyotes penalty-killing unit has been OK this season, and currently ranks 13th in the NHL at 81.3 percent.

The power play has been a different story. Arizona currently ranks 29th in the league at 14.7 percent and has allowed a league-high seven shorthanded goals.

The power-play percentage is the lowest under Tippett since the 2011-12 season when the Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference Final, but that team defended better than this team. The 2011-12 team finished seventh in goals against (204). This year’s team ranks 29th in goals against (95 in 30 games), putting a greater onus on production with the man advantage.

“We’ve had runs where we’ve had good looks and just haven’t finished,” Tippett said. “Then there’s other times where we haven’t been as cohesive as we’d like.

“We’ll continue to tinker with it but in the end, when we are creating chances, it’s about capitalizing on those chances.”

Coyotes power play under Dave Tippett
2015-16: 14.7% (29th)
2014-15: 20.0% (7th)
2013-14: 19.5% (7th)
2012-13: 15.4% (24th)
2011-12: 13.5% (29th)
2010-11: 15.9% (22nd)
2009-10: 14.6% (28th)

Coyotes penalty kill under Dave Tippett
2015-16: 81.3% (13th)
2014-15: 76.7% (29th)
2013-14: 79.0% (26th)
2012-13: 79.9% (22nd)
2011-12: 85.5% (8th)
2010-11: 78.4% (26th)
2009-10: 84.5% (6th)

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

FILE - United States' Logan Cooley (18) checks Finland's Eemil Viro (6) during the second period of...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley impresses for Team USA at World Juniors

Arizona Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley flashed some skill for Team USA against Austria in the World Juniors Saturday.
23 hours ago
Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New York Islanders  at the UBS Arena on...
Kellan Olson

Lawson Crouse believes in Arizona Coyotes’ long-term vision, core

Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse spoke on his long-term commitment to the organization and what he sees for it in the future.
6 days ago
Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game at Gila River Are...
Arizona Sports

Lawson Crouse, Arizona Coyotes agree to 5-year extension

Agreeing to an extension before an arbitration on Monday, Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse will make $4.3 million on average each year.
6 days ago
Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Logan Cooley to play for U.S. at World Junior Championship

Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley -- the 2022 No. 3 pick -- will represent the United States at the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship.
7 days ago
Head coach of the Cleveland Monsters John Madden looks on from behind the bench against the Laval R...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes hire assistant coach John Madden

John Madden joins Andre Tourigny's coaching staff after spending the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant.
19 days ago
Zack Kassian #44 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Armstrong: F Zack Kassian perfect fit for new style of ‘Coyotes hockey’

Among the many moves the Coyotes made during the NHL Draft, the sneaky acquisition of veteran forward Zack Kassian could be very important.
22 days ago
Yotes notes: Smith undergoing further tests