Coyotes Finally Ready to Embrace Home-Ice Advantage

Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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To say that it’s been a challenging start to the season for the Arizona Coyotes would be an understatement.

Already expected to be a basement dweller in the Western Conference, the Coyotes were forced to play the majority of their early-season schedule on the road. That included a six-game road trip to open the season and a 14-game road trip that lasted over a month.

Now, the Yotes are set to return home and actually spend some time there. Six of their next seven games will be on Arizona State University’s campus. That matches the total number of home games that Arizona has played through its first 27 contests.

Could home games help the Coyotes turn things around?

Playing this many road games would be hard on any team (just look at the New York Islanders last season). The Coyotes are no different, as they sit at 9-14-4 on the year, which is good for 14th out of 16 teams in the West.

Having a stretch of games at home will not suddenly insert the Coyotes into the playoff race, but it may help them get back on track to some degree.

The difference in home results and road results has already been evident. When away from ASU, the Coyotes are 6-12-3, including a 1-7-3 mark since November 12. Clearly, the time away from home has caught up with Clayton Keller and company.

At home, however, Arizona has managed a 3-2-1 record, highlighted by a 4-3 victory over the first-place Boston Bruins last week.

Not only are the Coyotes finally going to get to enjoy some time in a familiar rink, but they’ll be playing some winnable games. The New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and Montreal Canadiens are the next three opponents for Arizona.

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There hasn’t been much to say about the Coyotes so far this season, as they’ve been the struggling team that we expected. With a little luck, some home games will be just what the doctor ordered for a franchise that desperately needs something to break its way.