The Coyotes return to action tonight for the first time since a listless 5-1 loss at Anaheim on Friday night, taking on another struggling team in the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.
The game can be seen on FOX Sports Arizona Plus and FOX Sports GO, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Arizona was dominated from start to finish by the Ducks, falling to 4-7 on the young season. Coach Dave Tippett expects better, and so do the players.
"I hope they’re frustrated," Tippett said after a spirited Sunday practice. "You look at our record, we’re not near what we’re capable of."
Center Martin Hanzal won’t play against Colorado because of a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the last two games. He has not started skating but the team hopes he can return within the week. Defenseman Michael Stone also remains out with an upper-body injury that has caused him to sit the last four games. He took part in some of Sunday’s practice, which the players hoped will serve as a needed jolt.
"I felt like we needed a practice like that, and I think everybody battled hard," defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. "That’s all we have to do, especially after a game like the other night. We didn’t show up at all. We didn’t play good enough, we didn’t try hard enough, so I think that was a good practice to get it out of our system and move forward here."
Anthony DeAngelo, who will be making his NHL debut, and Tyler Gaudet will provide reinforcements tonight for the injured players after being called up from the Tucson Roadrunners.
DeAngelo could have a role on the power-play unit. The Coyotes rank 29th in the league with an 8.8 percent success rate, ahead of only the Calgary Flames. They have scored on only 1 of their last 23 power-play opportunities, and they’re not skating with a man advantage often, either — just six times in their last three games.
Gaudet will have a role in Arizona’s penalty kill, which has a success rate of 75.5 percent, 28th among the league’s 30 teams.
Colorado ranks 18th on the power play (17.1) and 21st in penalty kill (79.5).
The Avalanche have scored just 22 goals in their 11 games and just three in their last four. But they did manage a win on Saturday over Minnesota, beating the Wild 1-0 thanks to Calvin Pickard’s 32-save effort. Their only other victory over the past seven games was 3-2 win over the Coyotes on Oct. 29 in Glendale.
"We’ve got to look at each other and look at ourselves in the mirror," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "We can all get more. It’s not one, two, three, four guys; it’s everybody that’s got to step up their game. When we all play together we’re a good team but when we were down a few guys things are not working. We really need everybody to work hard and help make the system out."
The Avalanche will play Tuesday’s game with heavy hearts after it was announced Marek Svatos, who played seven seasons in Colorado, died Saturday night. He is survived by his wife, Diana, and two children.
Center Matt Duchene and forward Cody McLeod are the only remaining Avalanche to be teammates with Svatos. Team vice president and governor Joe Sakic played five seasons with Svatos and was shaken by the news.
"Only 34. It’s sad," Sakic told The Denver Post. "We feel for Diana and the boys and his family, and our condolences go out to them. It’s tough. It’s tough for them."
Duchene leads Colorado in goals (six) and points (10). Ekman-Larsson has a team-high five goals for the Coyotes, and Brad Richardson leads in points with eight.
Second-year players Max Domi and Anthony Duclair have only one goal between them, after teaming up for 38 a year ago. And captain Shane Doan, last year’s leader with 28 goals, hasn’t put one in the net since opening night.