Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 5-3 win over the Lightning. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coach Dave Tippett, winger Radim Vrbata, winger Christian Fischer and winger Anthony Duclair react to the 5-3 win. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 3-1 loss to the Predators.
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Coach Dave Tippett, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, winger Jamie McGinn and defenseman Zbynek Michalek.
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 3-0 loss to the Blues.
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Coach Dave Tippett, defenseman Luke Schenn and goalie Mike Smith react to the loss on Saturday at Gila River Arena. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 5-4 shootout loss to the Red Wings.
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Coach Dave Tippett, goalie Mike Smith, winger Radim Vrbata and defenseman Jakob Chychrun react to the loss.
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 3-2 shootout win over the Kings, Mar. 14, 2017. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coach Dave Tippett, goalie Louis Domingue, defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and winger Max Domi react to the 3-2 shootout win against the Kings, Mar. 14, 2017. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 1-0 win over the Avalanche, Mar. 13, 2017. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coach Dave Tippett, goalie Mike Smith, captain Shane Doan and winger Brendan Perlini react to the win, Mar. 13, 2017. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 5-4 win over the Devils on Saturday.
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Coach Dave Tippett, goalie Mike Smith, winger Tobias Rieder and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo react to the 5-4 win on Saturday. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Senators.
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Coach Dave Tippett, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, winger Lawson Crouse and winger Brendan Perlini react to the 3-2 overtime loss.
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Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata is set to play his 1,000th game Thursday against the Senators.
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The Arizona Coyotes Foundation held their annual golf tournament for charity at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Players Shane Doan, Max Domi and Brendan Perlini comment.
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday in Glendale.
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Coach Dave Tippett, goalie Mike Smith, winger Max Domi and defenseman Jakob Chychrun react to the 2-1 loss on Sunday in Glendale. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 4-2 win over the Hurricanes.
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Coach Dave Tippett, captain Shane Doan, center Jordan Martinook and goalie Louis Domingue react to the win.
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Coyotes insider Sarah McLellan looks at the plus and minus in the 6-3 loss to the Sabres on Thursday.
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Coach Dave Tippett, defenseman Alex Goligoski, winger Tobias Rieder and winger Teemu Pulkkinen react to the loss on Thursday. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Coyotes General Manager John Chayka, winger Radim Vrbata and captain Shane Doan discuss the two players staying with Arizona.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and azcentral’s Craig Harris discuss the latest on the Coyotes’ search for an arena and the Diamondbacks’ feud with the county over Chase Field.
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Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, goalie Louis Domingue, defenseman Alex Goligoski and winger Radim Vrbata react to the loss against the Stars, Feb. 24, 2017. (Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports)
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The Washington Capitals hosted United Arab Emirates native and hockey phenom Fatima Al Ali.
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Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald skates for the first time with Arizona Coyotes’ Shane Doan. (Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports)
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For the first time, the Coyotes brought their dads on a road trip.
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Coyotes goalie Mike Smith reflects on his experience at the NHL All-Star Game on Monday. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Coyotes captain Shane Doan discusses the possibility of seeking a trade this season. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Lightning
Coyotes rally past the Lightning
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Predators
Coyotes open road trip with 3-1 loss to Predators
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Blues
Coyotes shut out 3-0 by the Blues
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Red Wings
Coyotes clipped by Red Wings 5-4 in a shootout
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Kings
Coyotes outlast Kings in 11-round shootout
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Avalanche
Coyotes blank Avalanche 1-0
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Devils
Coyotes hold off Devils in third period
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Senators
Senators rally past Coyotes for overtime win
Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata reaches 1,000-game milestone
Arizona Coyotes Foundation Golf Tournament 2017
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Hurricanes
Hurricanes rally past Coyotes with late third-period goal
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Hurricanes
Coyotes react to road win over Hurricanes
Sarah McLellan’s plus-minus against the Sabres
Coyotes react to their 6-3 loss to the Sabres
Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan remain with Coyotes after NHL trade deadline
Shot Clock: Could they leave? Latest on Coyotes’ arena situation
Stars rally past Coyotes for 5-2 win
Hockey phenom from UAE takes the ice with the Capitals
Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald skates for the first time with Shane Doan
Coyotes bring their dads on the road to San Jose
Coyotes goalie Mike Smith on memorable All-Star Game experience
Coyotes captain Shane Doan not ruling out trade possibility
SUNRISE, Fla. – It was during the wee hours Tuesday that a phone call awakened winger Christian Fischer to tell him he needed to get to Florida.
On the road in San Antonio with the Tucson Roadrunners, Fischer caught a late-morning flight to Tampa and arrived mid-afternoon – changing at the hotel before loading up on oatmeal, banana and bread since he had yet to eat.
“I took just about everything in the snack room,” he said.
But the unusual game-day routine didn’t seem to slow Fischer when he got on the ice with the Coyotes.
He improved to 3-for-3 when he popped the puck into a mostly empty net with Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy caught out of position less than five minutes into the first period of a 5-3 Coyotes win for Fischer’s third NHL goal in his fourth game on just his third shot.
“Somebody’s going to be second-guessing how much I play this guy,” coach Dave Tippett said. “Every time he gets on the ice (at) the start of the game, he scores.”
Fischer’s perfect shooting percentage did dip before the night ended, slipping to 50 amid three more shots on goal, which is a total he’d like to see count more than a single attempt on net per game.
And he also wants to earn a chance to fill a full-time spot in the Coyotes lineup next season.
“I think you want to finish this year strong and just prove you’re an NHL player,” he said.
With four games already on his NHL resume, Fischer would appear to have no more than five games to make a case for his 2017-18 candidacy.
The 19-year-old would burn a year off his entry-level contract if he dresses in 10 NHL games this season, and, since the Coyotes would prefer not to lose a year off Fischer’s deal, it looks like he’ll be capped at nine games.
“I think it’s important that he gets up here and gets some experience, get integrated with the group,” General Manager John Chayka said. “But we’ll be managing his games.”
Already, the Coyotes have closely regulated Fischer’s NHL face time.
Recalled Jan. 20 from the American Hockey League, he skated in three games and became the first player in franchise history to score a goal in each of his first two NHL games before getting returned to Tucson. Fischer, who had the option to return to junior this season but decided – in concert with the Coyotes – to play pro, called the brief stay a set plan as he was going to return to participate in the AHL All-Star Game.
Once back with the Roadrunners, Fischer continued to rack up points – adding 11 in 20 games to sit at 43 (19 of which are goals). And he did all this while trying to mimic the NHL style in the minors.
“For a 19-year-old kid to go down there, to be one of the leaders, be one of the best players, that speaks volumes about his character,” Tippett said. “We want to see if he can continue to grow his game up here the last little part of the season.”
Along with winger Brendan Perlini, who flipped a December call-up into a permanent spot with the Coyotes, Fischer has been the poster boy for the upside of the synergy that’s flowed between the Coyotes and their minor-league outpost during its inaugural season in Tucson.
Both players were able to learn the Coyotes’ style of play with the Roadrunners, who rely on the same systems, while building their confidence as scorers in the pro game before graduating to the NHL.
There, the two have combined with Arizona’s other rookies for 96 total points – the second-most production by a team’s first-year players in the league.
These smooth transitions no doubt give credibility to the organization’s development model, but another important boost will come when Fischer and company become established NHLers – a goal Fischer has on his radar.
“I think finishing this year strong could definitely lead into the offseason securing your spot, letting them know that you can want to finalize your spot coming into the summer, work hard and then by training camp, they know you can play in the NHL and it’s just your opportunity to seize it there,” he said. “So I think this end of the year is just both finishing the year strong but also making a statement that I can play in the National Hockey League.”
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8276. Follow her at twitter.com/azc_mclellan.
Coyotes at Panthers
When: 4:30 p.m.
Where: BB&T Center.
TV/radio: Fox Sports Arizona/KTAR-AM (620).
Panthers update: The Panthers aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but they have a ways to go. They’ve dropped two in a row and eight of their past 10. Florida last played Tuesday, falling 4-3 to Carolina. Center Vincent Trocheck leads the team with 50 points and has seven points in his past eight games, while center Jonathan Marchessault has a team-best 23 goals. The Panthers’ penalty kill is tops in the league at 85.9 percent. Florida has won its past two home games against Arizona.