Apr 19, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT
According to the Arizona Republic, the Phoenix Coyotes won’t have three of their regular forwards on Thursday when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal.
Head coach Dave Tippett confirmed it following today’s morning skate, saying that Lauri Korpikoski and Martin Hanzal would be out for the second straight game. They’ll be joined on the sidelines by Raffi Torres, who is suspended indefinitely for his hit on Marian Hossa.
Most coaches would be scrambling to replace three regular rotation forwards, but not Tippett. He’s shown an inordinate amount of faith in the organization’s depth and has no issue relying on AHL call-ups.
“Our depth throughout our organization is better, and we have players down there that are better equipped to come and play in this situation,” he told Fox Sports Arizona. “In years past, we’ve had some young players that if you put them in a situation like this right now, it would probably be tough on them.”
Coyotes GM Don Maloney agreed.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we can survive and play instead of crossing our fingers, shutting our eyes and hoping we can survive,” he said.
On Tuesday, Phoenix replaced Hanzal and Korpikoski with Kyle Chipchura and Gilbert Brule and the pair played well, though Tippett really limited their minutes (they, along with Paul Bissonnette, combined for just 19:20 of ice time.)
That won’t be easy to do on Thursday now that Torres is out. He played over 20 minutes in the Game 3 victory and was averaging 19 a night, playing on an effective line alongside Daymond Langkow and Shane Doan.
Tippett said that while the personnel losses are big, they won’t affect Phoenix’s overall approach.
“We understand playoffs are a hard grind, and you’re going to use a lot of people,” he said. “But what we always talk about is: When a player goes out, it’s an opportunity for somebody else.
“That’s kind of the identity of our team.”
- Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators 0
- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 4
- Discuss: Kings dominate Game 5, one win away from Western Conference final 19
- Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead 40
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win 73
- What they’re saying about the Avs hiring Patrick Roy 6
- It’s official: Colorado names Roy sixth head coach in franchise history 46
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 38
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 26
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 35
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (113)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Watch LIVE: Sharks-Kings, Game 5
- PHT: Wings push Hawks to brink of elimination
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional
- OlyTalk: Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- CSN: Francona returns to Boston | Legacy?
- Posnanski: Hornets more than a name to Charlotte
- Play Video: Highlights: Kings beat Sharks, take series lead
- Play Video: Brown takes out goalie Niemi
- Play Video: Demers commits reckless penalty
- Play Video: Demers slashes Doughty, but no call made
- Play Video: Niemi robs Carter to preserve tie
- Play Video: Highlights: Wings take 3-1 series lead over 'Hawks