Coyotes’ Smith practices, return still up in the air during crucial week

The Phoenix Coyotes approach a make-or-break week for their 2014 playoff hopes, but it remains unclear if they’ll get key players back into the mix.

Monday’s updates present a combination of good and bad news, as the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.

Would-be starting goalie Mike Smith finally practiced today, yet his status for future games appears up in the air.

He’s not the only substantial player out of the lineup, as Martin Hanzal is still dealing with his injury issues. He was unable to skate with the team on Monday, but it appears that he at least has a chance to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

Ultimately Hanzal is considered questionable while Smith is listed as day-to-day.

Even with all that uncertainty in mind and the pressure facing the Coyotes as they try to overtake the Dallas Stars (and the field behind them) for the final West playoff spot, Coyotes captain Shane Doan is finding a way to enjoy it.

The Coyotes will probably view it as a more enjoyable week if they extend their season beyond Sunday’s finale against the Stars, however.

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