It may only be the first game of the hockey season for the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers, but both teams enter the rink with chips upon their shoulder. The Coyotes are poised to make up for a disappointing 2012-2013 season. The team finished two games behind archrival Los Angeles Kings, missing the playoffs. Management took the ineptitude seriously during off-season, bringing in former Washington Capitals center Mike Ribeiro to shore up the usually solid play of captain Shane Doan, Keith Yandle, Radim Vrbata and Antoine Vermette. Another plus, goalie Mike Smith’s preseason play reveals the top form that evaded him last season. The Rangers are also hoping to improve following last season’s stumble and second round playoff knockout. Led by center Brad Richards, winger Rick Nash and goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the second-place Atlantic division finishers aren’t satisfied either. The question is… who wants it more?
The puck drops on the new season 7 p.m. Thursday, October 3 at Jobing.com Arena, 9400 West Maryland, Glendale. Tickets range from $40 to $245. Visit www.coyotes.nhl.com.