Apr 4, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
The Phoenix Coyotes have been battling for their playoff lives without the services of franchise goalie Mike Smith — and, according to head coach Dave Tippett, they’re going to need to keep doing it.
“He continues to improve,” Tippett said on Friday, per NHL.com. “But no timetable yet.”
Smith was sidelined with a lower-body injury on Mar. 24 and it’s been Thomas Greiss in goal for Phoenix ever since. Greiss started well but has faltered of late, losing 4-0 to the Kings on Wednesday — the Coyotes’ third loss in a row. As a result, Phoenix heads into tonight’s game against Edmonton tied on points with eighth-place Dallas (85), but out of a wild card spot due to fewer regulation/overtime wins (30, to Dallas’ 34).
The Coyotes have five games remaining in the regular season, and eyes are already on the finale — a home date against the Stars on Apr. 13. The hope for Phoenix would be to have Smith back in goal for that game, which could be a winner-gets-into-the-playoffs scenario, but there’s no guaranteeing Smith will be ready. He’s expected to undergo another evaluation of the injury later this weekend, possibly Sunday, meaning he’d have roughly a week to get back into game shape.
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 22
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 29
- (Video) PHT Extra: Christmas wish lists from around the NHL 2
- PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette 7
- Backstrom to start for Wild, who need their goalies to be ‘better’ 13
- NHL on NBCSN: Avs challenge Blues after narrow losses to St. Louis 6
- Gaudreau’s first hat trick helps Flames stun Kings 7
- Fowler after Ducks’ win vs. Sharks: ‘We never give up’ 1
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (70)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Who are the Bruins targeting in trade talks? (47)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (42)