The Phoenix Coyotes have established themselves as one of the top teams in the NHL, and one of the keys has been their dominating play at home. According to head coach Dave Tippett, it didn’t happen by accident.
“I think there are a couple of things,” Tippett told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta Wednesday. “One, I really think some of it has to do with new ownership and stability here. And we talked about it at the beginning of the year — we wanted to be a real good home team.
“In the end it comes back, if you’re not a good home team, you’re not going to be a playoff team.”
At Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, the Coyotes are 9-0-1 this year, one of just two teams without a regulation loss at home with the other being division rival Anaheim.
Phoenix was a far-from-dominating 14-8-2 on its home ice last season, and Tippett wanted that to change.
“The stability, we wanted (opponents) to know this would be a hard place to play,” Tippett explained. “For the most part, we’ve ended up playing very well at home.”
With a very competitive Western Conference — the top eight teams are only separated by two points — each game is important, and Tippett said the team needs to take every advantage it can get.
“You’ve got to pick up points at home, because they’re awfully hard to get on the road,” Tippett said.
That’s been especially true for the Coyotes this season, as they are a much more mortal 5-4-2 on the road. The team hosts the two Southern California teams this week before heading out on a two-game road trip to Nashville and Minnesota.