Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/10/13
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The Coyotes’ season is three games old and already there has been a closed-door players-only meeting line shuffling and a pair of roster moves. Back-to-back losses don’t usually elicit this much attention but when these losses are a complete departure from the Coyotes’ disciplined style and defensive structure there’s cause for concern. “Obviously nobody’s happy about how the last couple games have gone and we’re seeing if we can do some things to rectify it” coach Dave Tippett said by phone on Wednesday. After a 4-1 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday Tippett tinkered with his forward lines. He promoted winger Lauri Korpikoski to the first line and put wing Mikkel Boedker with center Martin Hanzal and wing Radim Vrbata. The change benefited Hanzal’s line which found the only goal in a 6-1 loss Tuesday in New York to the Islanders but it didn’t do much else. Center Mike Ribeiro who was brought in over the summer to reignite the offense has yet to register a point. “He’s created some opportunities but he hasn’t had the impact him or his line hasn’t had the impact on the game that they need to have” Tippett said. “We’ll continue to work away at it. He’ll continue to work away at it. Hopefully we can find some solutions.” Players are definitely searching for answers. They shut themselves in the locker room after the Islanders game to have a heart-to-heart. Team brass also took action recalling forwards Brandon Yip and Tim Kennedy from the American Hockey League and sending rookies Lucas Lessio and Chris Brown back in their place. “Their time on the ice was dwindling and they’re better off playing” Tippett said. “So we brought up a couple guys that have some experience.” Wednesday’s practice in Detroit in preparation for Thursday night’s game against the Red Wings mirrored the somber tone that’s swallowed the team since its near-perfect 4-1 win over the New York Rangers in its debut a week ago. Tippett said practice was business-like as the Coyotes attempted to correct defensive mistakes that have led to 10 goals-against in two games. “There are a lot of things we as a group can certainly clean up” Tippett said. “Decisions with the puck discipline to stay out of the penalty box things like that that give you a much better chance to win.”
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