By Tracey Myers
While Chicago Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw has been suspended three games on Tuesday for his hit on Mike Smith, the Phoenix Coyotes goaltender's status for Game 3 (9 p.m. ET) remains up in the air.
Smith is a game-time decision, according to Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, as the Blackhawks will be without Shaw in the lineup.
Shaw and Smith skated with their respective teams Tuesday morning, and in Smith's case it appeared that meant he was good to go for Game 3. But Tippett said he and Martin Hanzal are game-time decisions.
Most of the questions for Tippett revolved around Smith, who was not available for comment due to "extreme circumstances," according to Phoenix media relations. Smith also didn't practise on Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., but Tippett wouldn't say why he didn't.
"It's just our prerogative," Tippett said. "Whether it's an injury or a rest day, we don't have to tell everyone why [a] player practises or doesn't."
As for his thoughts on the hit, Tippett hasn't changed his mind from what he said after the game.
"It's a blatant hit to the head, there was no intent to miss the goalie," he said. "I've gone through a lot of these meeting with the NHL, and it's the exact same hit they're trying to take out of the game."
Still, he wasn't concerned about the ruling on Shaw prior to the suspension.
"The league's dealing with that," he said. "We know there's probably some long, hard thought to it. We're worried about getting our players up and going."
The Coyotes said they would take no more questions regarding Smith and Shaw, and the press conference ended shortly after.
Quenneville said the Blackhawks will make the necessary change now that Shaw is ruled out.
But some Blackhawks players were frustrated the process took so long.
"There should be some kind of protocol, a deadline," said Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers. "A guy's got to prepare for a game and shouldn't have to worry about that. The decision should have been made [Monday] night. Let him have the time to get ready for the game."
With Shaw banned, the Blackhawks will miss what he's provided.
"You lose a lot of energy [without him]," Mayers said. "I'm sure the other team has to be aware where he is; he's not afraid to go to those tough areas. He's been chipping in, in a lot of areas for us."
Tracey Myers reports for Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @TramyersCSN
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