ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes return to ice less than 2 weeks before start of condensed season

Jan 4, 2021, 7:02 PM
(Twitter photo/@ArizonaCoyotes)...
(Twitter photo/@ArizonaCoyotes)
(Twitter photo/@ArizonaCoyotes)

The Arizona Coyotes returned to the ice on Monday for the start of training camp. It’s a unique start, even without factoring in the pandemic.

The Coyotes are undergoing a very short ramp-up. Their first game is 10 days away from that first skate, and that’s the regular season. There aren’t any exhibition games.

“Certainly, a different thing that this team will experience,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said Sunday, noting there are normally 6-8 exhibition games.

Head coach Rick Tocchet said Monday he expects everyone to come into camp in “excellent shape.”

“You’ve had 3-4 months to get ready, so we’ll see,” he said. “We don’t have time for people who are out of shape. Some guys might get into the lineup who are in good shape and are impressing in camp. That’s just the way it’s gotta be. There’s no excuse not to be in shape.”

Tocchet said on Sunday that the team doesn’t have time to wait around. He wanted to use the first day of camp for working on things beyond everyone just getting their legs under them.

And that puts a further emphasis on scrimmages. What’s typically a tuneup to the tuneup is now critical.

“We need that first scrimmage,” Tocchet said Sunday. “It’s gotta be competitive.”

That’s because it’s also a shortened 56-game schedule, and as Tocchet noted, a slow start could doom them. If they take two weeks to get acclimated and fall behind, that’s eight games and nearly one-seventh of the schedule on this accelerated calendar.

“We can’t worry too much about it,” defenseman Jason Demers said Sunday. “We just have to adapt.”

Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson said Sunday a group of players has been in the Valley skating the past 5-6 weeks, making sure they’re not solely relying on a small training camp.

“The real bullets are coming pretty quick so we just gotta make sure we’re on the ball,” Demers said.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes right wing Dylan Guenther celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against th...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes loan F Guenther to Canada for World Junior Championship

The 2023 World Junior Championship will run from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick.
22 hours ago
Arizona Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram (39) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Derek Ryan (10) during...
Associated Press

Coming home: Coyotes fall to Oilers in final leg of 14-game road trip

Edmonton Oilers defeated the Arizona Coyotes, who finished off a 14-game road trip with their sixth consecutive loss.
2 days ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Josh Brown, center, catches a high stick from Calgary Flames defenseman ...
Associated Press

Arizona Coyotes fall to Flames in Calgary

Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakob Chychrun scored for the Arizona Coyotes in a loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday.
4 days ago
Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka skates off the ice as the Vancouver Canucks celebrate their o...
Associated Press

Coyotes drop point in overtime loss to Canucks in Vancouver

The Arizona Coyotes dropped a point in Vancouver on Saturday night after letting a lead slip away for a 3-2 OT loss to the Canucks.
6 days ago
Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez (Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty Images)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Gutierrez: Coyotes optimistic about next steps in arena approval plans

Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez can see the sun rising on the horizon as the team's arena plan received support this week.
6 days ago
Los Angeles Kings right wing Gabriel Vilardi (13) tries to get a shot off with Arizona Coyotes defe...
Associated Press

L.A. Kings rally for late win over Arizona Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings rallied in the third period for a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
8 days ago
Coyotes return to ice less than 2 weeks before start of condensed season