Dec. 10, 2003
© The Arizona Republic
Not that he wants fans to start cheering the Stars tonight or wearing Dallas sweaters, but Coyotes coach Bobby Francis would like his team to approach the return to America West Arena as a road game.
"Coming back that first game after a long road trip, you tend to get away from what made you successful (2-1-2) on the road," he said. "We just have to make sure we remember what made us successful."
Tyson Nash's play has impressed Francis, who said there are no secrets involved.
"His offense is the residue of hard work," he said. "There's not many agitators left in the league, and if you're looking for one, Tyson's definitely the trademark."
Getting a chance
Brad Ference, called into action only 20 minutes before the faceoff Sunday in Chicago, hopes his play merits more ice time. He had been a healthy scratch seven straight times before the tie with the Blackhawks.
"I think I played a solid game," said Ference, who got the nod when Ossi Vaananen suffered a sore neck. "You take it shift by shift and do anything you can do to improve your status on the team. It helps by doing the little things.
"You keep it simple, you make the easy plays, and then confidence builds and gets more within the coach. It gets more in you and things begin to roll."
X-rays showed that Vaananen did not have a disk problem. Vaananen practiced Tuesday and told Francis he felt better. If his condition does not worsen, he should be able to play tonight.
The Coyotes acquired defenseman Chris Dyment from the Wild for defenseman Michael Schutte. Dyment played 13 games with the Houston Aeros this season, with one point and 12 penalty minutes. In Schutte's 12 games with Springfield, he had four points and 10 penalty minutes.