Mike Smith: ‘We have to be ready from the drop of the puck’

Jan 13, 2013, 9:23 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2013, 10:36 am

On Jan. 13, 2012, the Phoenix Coyotes sat in 11th place in their conference with a 20-17-7 record. While Dave Tippett’s squad ultimately went on an impressive run over the final 38 games of the regular season en route to a Western Conference Finals appearance, they will not have that same luxury in 2013.

Because of a lockout-shortened season, the Coyotes cannot afford to get off to a sluggish start. After all, they only have 48 games to make an impression.

“Usually, you can kind of creep your way into the season with some exhibition games and a longer camp, but it is what it is,” goaltender Mike Smith said Sunday. “We have to be ready from the drop of the puck when the season starts on Saturday.”

Phoenix opens on the road next Saturday against former Coyote Ray Whitney and the Dallas Stars, before coming home the following night to host the Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena.

With the Coyotes scheduled to play 48 games in a condensed period of time, including seven back-to-back contests, the team recognizes how imperative it is to get the kinks and rust out during their one-week training camp.

“There’s going to be a lot of hockey games all wrapped in a short season,” said Smith. “There’s no excuse for not being ready, because we have had four months to get ready for the season. We’re very excited.”

While expectations will be elevated this season given the Coyotes’ recent run of success, Smith said he and his teammates are just thrilled to be back on the ice playing the game they love.

“There’s some energy in the air now that the season’s back,” said Smith. “Everyone’s getting geared up for a short camp and an early start to the season.

“I say early, but really it’s been a long time coming.”

Penguin Air


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

Goaltender Karel Vejmelka #70 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against the ...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Coyotes ranked with NHL’s worst goaltending tandem

ESPN's Greg Wyshynski deemed the Arizona Coyotes to have the NHL's worst goaltending tandem in his rankings for the 2022-23 season.
2 days ago
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes prepares for the first round of the 2021 NHL ...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Coyotes add 2 former NHL players as development coaches

The Arizona Coyotes appointed former NHL veterans Kurtis Foster and Jeff Shantz to their player development staff on Monday.
4 days ago
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jonas Johansson (34) makes a save on a shot by Arizona Coyotes right wing...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Coyotes claim goaltender Jonas Johansson off waivers

The Arizona Coyotes added to their goaltending corps Friday, claiming Jonas Johansson off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche.
7 days ago
Andre Tourigny (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Tom Kuebel

Arizona Coyotes face daunting early schedule with 2 long road trips

The Arizona Coyotes face the difficulties of playing 27 of its first 31 games on the road, including the preseason.
9 days ago
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes prepares for the first round of the 2021 NHL ...
Arizona Sports

Armstrong on new season for Coyotes: ‘We’ve got to take a step forward’

Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong, entering the second year of a rebuild, explains his expectations for the 2022-23 season.
10 days ago
Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes looks to pass the puck during the NHL game against the Los...
Tom Kuebel

Arizona Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun wants to be traded to contender

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is looking to get moved to a contender and will miss the opening of training camp with an injury. 
16 days ago
Mike Smith: ‘We have to be ready from the drop of the puck’