NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout August.
When the Arizona Coyotes (formerly Phoenix) take the Gila River Arena (formerly Jobing.com Arena) ice for their season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 9, they will be hoping the name changes won't be the only difference.
That's because Arizona endured a second straight early summer last season after making the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive seasons from 2009-12. The Coyotes finished four points out of eighth place in 2012-13 and came even closer last season, when only two points separated them from the Dallas Stars and the final wild-card spot.
However, coach Dave Tippett said his team is not content with merely making the playoffs and argued that heading into 2014-15, the Coyotes are poised to compete among the Western Conference elite.
"If a couple things go differently, we make the playoffs. But we want to be a better team than just get to the playoffs," Tippett said. "Last year we just had too much inconsistency to push us into that last playoff spot. In this League, you know it's going to be a dogfight right down to the end and you can't afford to have any lulls."