March 5, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Phoenix Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) brings the puck up ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Phoenix Coyotes fans can breathe a sigh of relief as head coach Dave Tippett has confirmed that Radim Vrbata will be ready to play in game two of the Coyotes series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Coyotes never made an official statement as to what happened in game 1 other than he was listed as day to day. There was some talk of him being treated under the concussion protocol, but there's not much chance he'd be back were that the case.
While the Coyotes won game one, having Vrbata's 35 goals back in the lineup certainly will help. Even bigger is that the team won't have to juggle lines for nearly an entire 60 minutes (plus some) to make up for his absence. Both he and Ray Whitney have been great together on a line centered by Martin Hanzal so hopefully he can make up for his game one absence in a big way for the team tonight.