Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 1/12/13
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 Jobing.com 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 Jobing.com 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 Jobing.com Arena. The always-popular Detroit Red Wings pay two visits to Jobing.com 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker