One thing the Arizona Coyotes know is how much a long trip can transform the chemistry of a team.
Last season, it was a grueling 14-game road trip.
This season, the team has taken its plane to the Southern Hemisphere.
A two-game exhibition series, set in Melbourne, Australia, marks the NHL’s first trip down under. The Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings will kick off the league’s preseason at Rod Laver Arena, home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, on Saturday and Sunday.
Scheduling a trip to a place 17 hours ahead of Arizona time right at the beginning of training camp looks like it could be a disruption to the regimented flow of training camp, but management sees the early benefits.
“Coach gets his team right off the hop. Normally, there’s 50 guys and you’re tripping over each other and figuring out this and that,” General Manager Bill Armstrong said. “Right away,…