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COYOTES SHIFT FOCUS TO LIGHTNING

Wednesday, 01.07.2009 / 4:01 PM / Features
By Russell Brooks
Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky conducted an up-tempo practice at Jobing.com Arena on Wednesday, one day after his team suffered its second straight shutout.

“Our group is pretty down after last night’s game,” Gretzky said. “We tried to get some enjoyment in them as far as the game itself and hard work. It’s tough coming in the day after a hard loss. I thought the guys practiced pretty hard today.”

The focus of the practice was getting pucks and people to the net.

“We’ve got to crash the net harder and go for rebounds.” said Joakim Lindstrom, who has four goals and an assist in 14 games this season. “That’s where you are going to score the goals and we need to do a better job of that.”

Western Conference All-Star Shane Doan agreed.

“The last couple of games, obviously we have been pretty disappointed in the effort … we’ve just got to get people to the net. We’ve got to get pucks to the net. We’ve got to get some confidence and energy going in the right direction in the room.”

PROSPECT WATCH

Maxim Goncharov led Russia to a bronze medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Ottawa. Goncharov notched five goals and an assist, impressing Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney.

“He had a very strong tournament,” Maloney said. “Physically, he’s a man. He can skate and shoot the puck. I don’t think he is that far away from playing in the National Hockey League.”

QUICK HITS

• Defenseman Ken Klee did not practice on Wednesday because of a lower body injury and his status for Thursday's game is questionable.

• Gretzky said goalie Ilya Bryzgalov would start on Thursday against the Lightning.
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