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At the Rink blog

Coyotes realize 'crunch time' has arrived

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 2:06 PM

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Coyotes realize 'crunch time' has arrived
ST. LOUIS -- The Phoenix Coyotes currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference and unlike their opponent tonight, the St. Louis Blues, have ground to make up.

Phoenix will split its 12-game schedule for the month of January, with six games at home and six on the road, but those road games will be front-loaded. The team is currently in a stretch of games where eight of 10 are away from Jobing.com Arena.

"January's where everybody realizes this is crunch time," veteran defenseman Derek Morris said. "You've got to crank it up a notch. Games are going to get quicker, they're going to get more important. ... You don't want to get behind and start chasing. Where we're at, we've got to find a way to win games now so when crunch times rolls around, you don't want to have to scrape out the last couple points because they're harder to get."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp