There was some dour news from an otherwise lighthearted presser in Phoenix today — Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett confirmed defenseman Adrian Aucoin wouldn’t play on Sunday in the Western Conference finals opener against Los Angeles.
“He won’t play tomorrow,” Tippett told reporters. “He certainly won’t be a player in Game 1. He skated a little bit today. I think we’ll monitor his situation, but he won’t be a player in Game 1.”
Aucoin was injured early Monday’s series-clinching win against Nashville and hasn’t returned to the ice since.
As with most postseason ailments, Aucoin’s isn’t being disclosed — though he did miss a game of the Chicago series to injury as well. It’s unclear if what’s bothering him now is what bothered him then, but Phoenix ruling him out a full day before Game 1 suggests the injury is serious.
It’s likely that David Schlemko will draw back into the Coyotes lineup and replace Aucoin, who had been playing close to 18 minutes a night. Schlemko’s played three games this postseason, averaging 17 minutes per.
The injury must be a disappointment for Aucoin, 38. A veteran of over 60 playoff games, he’s never played in a conference final.