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Aucoin's Blog: We're Ready to Drop the Puck

by Adrian Aucoin / Arizona Coyotes
SAN JOSE -- I’m very excited to begin my 18th NHL season tonight. I’ve got a lot training camps under my belt but this one just seemed to take forever to end. Obviously our early exit from the playoffs last season made the off-season feel a little longer so we’re all very eager to start the 2011-12 season. I think our team has gelled very well in camp and we will have a good year.

Adrian Aucoin
We have some new guys here but they all seem to be real quality guys. That’s one of things I like a lot about this team; whenever Don Maloney brings in new players he always gets input from Dave Tippett and even some of the players beforehand about the guys. That makes a big difference.

We are starting the season tonight at San Jose. That game is the first of three in a row on the road for us to start the season. I love the idea of getting on the road right away because there’s always nerves around the first game, and you can get them out of the way and the first road game out of the way at the same time.

Getting out on the road with the team right away is a good thing. There’s always going to be a learning process for a team with new players and if you can hit that curve a little early in the season when you’re out on the road it makes it easier for us.

While we have several new forwards and a new goalie, all of the defensemen on this year’s team were here at the end of last season. That is a huge advantage. I love our D corps. Keith Yandle has taken over as one of the best defensemen in the game and the older guys are really steady. And Oliver and Schlemko are young guys who are really skilled, so we just have a really good mix. I think it’s a strong point for our team.

I was asked if I have any personal goals for the season. Honestly, my biggest goal is always to stay healthy. At this point in my career I’m trying to maximize my ability because there are not too many things I can learn now. Having said that, Jim Playfair has come in here as an assistant coach and shown me some little things to work on. But again, staying healthy is No. 1 on my list of goals for the season.

Thanks for reading. We're all looking forward to seeing the fans at the home opener on Oct. 15 and throughout the season.
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