Found January 12, 2013 on Fox Sports Arizona:
With the release of the Coyotes' schedule (and the rest of the NHL's), here are some thoughts on this lockout-abbreviated, 48-game slate. We kept writing the words condensed schedule, throughout the lockout, but until you see it in front of you, you dont realize just how condensed it is. The Coyotes get four days off between games on Feb. 18 (Calgary at home) and Feb. 23 (Edmonton on the road) and three days between games on March 21 (Vancouver) and March 24 (Detroit). Other than that, there are no greater gaps than two days in between games, and the Coyotes will play eight sets of back-to-back games (that's one-third of the schedule). How will that impact the team? First, the glut of games over a short period of time will take a toll on the players bodies, raising the possibility of injuries and giving an advantage to the teams that have better depth. Second, the condensed schedule cuts down on potential practice time to correct mistakes, bad trends and even install new ideas. Coach Dave Tippett and his staff will have to balance concerns about fatigue with keeping the team in lockstep with his philosophies. Thats no easy task. Phoenix opens in Dallas on Jan. 19, creating an immediate reunion with last seasons leading point man, Ray Whitney, who signed with the Stars in the offseason. Whitneys first game at Arena comes Feb. 2. The home opener will be Jan. 20 against the Chicago Blackhawks, who the Coyotes knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Speaking of knockouts, Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa should be on the ice for the first time since Coyotes forward Raffi Torres knocked him out with a blow to the head that earned him a 25-game suspension that was later reduced to a 21-game ban. Torres still has eight more games to serve on that suspension, so the first time the two players might meet is Feb. 20 at Arena. The Coyotes get their first look at the Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings on Jan. 26. The Kings eliminated the Coyotes in the Western Conference final, a series that ended in controversy when Kings captain Dustin Brown laid out former Coyote Michal Rozsival (now with Chicago) with what some believe was an illegal hit to Rozsival's knee. The Coyotes first meeting with the Nashville Predators, their second-round playoff victim, comes Jan. 28 at Arena. The always-popular Detroit Red Wings pay two visits to on March 25 and April 4. In one of those bizarre, lockout-created realities, Phoenix plays Anaheim three times in a row between March 2-6. Because of the condensed schedule and the desire to reduce travel, the Coyotes do not play any games against teams from the Eastern Conference. The season ends April 27 in Anaheim. The playoffs begin the first week of May, nearly three weeks later than last season.

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The NHL's 48-game season will put a premium on teams getting off to a fast start. With so few games, there's not a lot of time to make up ground. The Phoenix Coyotes appear to be one of the teams in good position to get out to a quick start. The Coyotes have essentially the same roster from last season, which was the best in franchise history, and play in a defense-first...

Coyotes have continuity on their side

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Let's just say it, Ray Shero's tenure in Pittsburgh has been as close to flawless as we've seen. He hasn't made a ton of big moves, but when he does, they usually pay off. But his biggest failures to date were the Paul Martin, and Zbynek Michalek signings in the summer 2010. He signed them for contracts worth a grand total of 45 million. And then, at the draft...
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