Radim Vrbata has been skating a lot since he suffered a cracked bone in his foot Feb. 16 against Columbus. The idea was to test the foot continually to see what it could take, but the approach wasn't working, so Vrbata took a different tack last week.
"I took a couple days off not skating," he said Tuesday night in Los Angeles. "And once I got back it was a totally different feeling than those first three and a half weeks when every time I would go out there I would feel pain."
After 14 games on the shelf, Vrbata returned to the lineup in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Kings at Staples Center. For a team that needs every soldier over the season's final month as it looks to make a playoff push, that was welcome news.
Vrbata clearly wasn't himself yet, but there were signs that he could be soon.
"He jumped in and got a couple good chances," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Usually he buries those, but hopefully those will be coming in...