Ducks-Coyotes Preview (Jan 14, 2017)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The World Cup of Hockey and the mandatory five-day bye week it spawned have created a host of scheduling oddities in the NHL this year. Case in point: the Arizona Coyotes.
Coming out of their bye this week, the Coyotes faced five games in seven days, beginning with a rare back-to-back set of home games against Winnipeg and Anaheim on Friday and Saturday.
The Ducks, who will have their bye week later this month, weren't complaining. After defeating the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in Denver, Anaheim was able to forego video scouting of its next opponent. Instead, the Ducks took in the Coyotes-Jets game live at Gila River Arena as Arizona defeated Winnipeg 4-3 behind two goals from rookie left winger Brendan Perlini.
"I don't think their lineup is settled yet from the standpoint that (Max) Domi is still injured (Jordan) Martinook is still injured and (Ryan) White is still injured but we know that they're going to be a hard-working hockey club," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said of Arizona. "We know that they are second in the league in physical play as far as body checks. Those are things they are going to try to implement into tomorrow night's game because they're coming off their five-day break."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett is not a fan of the bye week because he believes it creates an unsafe environment for the players due to the condensed schedule it necessitates.
"I'm not sure what the concept is but it's not safety," Tippett said.
While players acknowledged the break creates scheduling issues, they are largely in favor of it.
"That was a good mental break," said Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, who went up north to Flagstaff, Ariz., with his family for some time in the snow. "It's going to affect the schedule for sure but on the other side, you are well rested so we should be OK."
This is the third meeting between the teams this season but the first in Arizona. The Ducks beat the Coyotes 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 6 when Arizona goalie Mike Smith mishandled a puck in front of his net and Ondrej Kase knocked it into the net with 36 seconds remaining.
Coyotes right wingers Jordan Martinook (upper body) and Ryan White (lower body) missed Friday's game against Winnipeg and will not play against the Ducks. Center Alex Burmistrov arrived in Arizona at 2 a.m. on Friday -- 11 days after the Coyotes claimed him off waivers from Winnipeg on Jan. 2. He skated with the team on Friday morning in Scottsdale, but did not play and will not play on Saturday.
Backup Louis Domingue will in start in goal for Arizona.
Ducks center Nate Thompson (Achilles) and defenseman Simon Despres (concussion) are out indefinitely. Defenseman Clayton Stoner (abdomen) is due back in the lineup later this month. Left winger Nicolas Kerdiles (concussion) is day to day. Defenseman Korbinian Holzer (personal) has been placed on injured reserve while he attends to a family matter.
Carlyle never announces his starter is in goal, but John Gibson has played 10 straight games and the Ducks play St. Louis on Sunday at home, so Jonathan Bernier could get the call against Arizona.