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The Desert Dog Blog: Things Fans Need to Know About Home Opener

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE – With only one day left, I figured today was a good time to post a potpourri of information regarding the Coyotes’ 2011-12 home opener on Saturday vs. the Winnipeg Jets.

Some things fans need to know:

TICKETS: As of Friday morning about 1,100 tickets remain for sale for Saturday’s game, which starts at 4 p.m. (AZ time). The game is starting at this time so it can be shown regionally on Canadian TV network CBC. In Arizona, the game will be televised by Fox Sports Arizona. 

• Click here for ticket information.

SWEATERS: The Coyotes will wear their red sweaters for Saturday’s game. For the record, Phoenix will wear its red sweaters for all home games NOT played on Thursdays and the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2011-12. On Thursdays and the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Coyotes will wear their black sweaters.

TRAFFIC: ADOT has confirmed that Westbound Loop 101 from 7th Ave. to 59th Ave. will be closed from Friday at 10 p.m. until Sunday at 10 p.m. There are two detour routes for travelers heading to the West Valley from the Northeast Valley:

1. Loop 101 to SR51 South to I-10 West to Loop 101 North
2. Use the frontage road along the Loop 101

The Coyotes recommend using option No. 1 because traffic will move faster (no traffic lights).

NEW GLASS: For those who haven’t heard, there is a new, lighter type of glass surrounding the ice inside Arena this season. It’s much more flexible and will make for more exciting/safer hits into the glass. A warning to those sitting on the glass: Don’t place a beverage on the ledge or it may end up in your lap!

• Click here to watch a video about the new glass.

CHARITY BRACELETS: Many of you have been asking about the bracelets that are being sold to raise funds for the families of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl players/staff who were killed in the tragic plane crash last month in Russia. The bracelets will be sold for $10 in the Community Corner near section 115 on Saturday.

• Click here for more information about the bracelets.

NEW MASKS: Both Coyotes goalies – Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera – are wearing new goalie masks this season. Both masks were designed/painted by Toronto-based artist David Arrigo. Smith’s mask features a unique Wile E. Coyote design; LaBarbera’s mask features a unique design that honors Pat Tillman and military personnel.

• Click here to watch Smith discuss his mask.

• Click here to watch LaBarbera discuss his mask.

THIS AND THAT: Here's a quick glance at a few things fans can expect to see and/or hear once inside the arena on Saturday:

• Upon arrival, all fans attending Saturday’s game will receive a long-sleeve white T-shirt with the Coyotes' 15th anniversary logo on the front (see logo above).

• Howler, of course, will be on hand to help get Coyotes fans fired up. So, too, will the 2011-12 version of the Paw Patrol. Click here to watch a video that details how the Paw Patrol was selected.

• Arrowheart, an Arizona-based country trio, will perform the U.S. national anthem, and Patrick Lauder will perform the Canadian anthem.

• Mathew Blades of MIX 96.9 FM will make his debut as this season’s arena host.

• A 15-year Coyotes season-ticket holder will drop the ceremonial first puck.

SHAMELESS PLUG: I invite all fans to join me for a live pre-game web chat at from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday. We can discuss lineups, strategies, atmosphere or just about anything else…
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