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Phoenix Coyotes in prime position to get lockout-shortened season off to a quick start

  • b8d34a0f964c8501260f6a706700577d.jpg

    Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith deflects shots on goal during the NHL hockey team's first voluntary skate Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz., since the NHL and the players' union agreed to a memorandum of understanding on Saturday. The NHL is scheduled to start its season on Saturday, Jan. 19. (AP Photo/Matt York) (The Associated Press)

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    Phoenix Coyotes goalie Jason Labarera heads to the ice for the team's first voluntary skate, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz., since the NHL and the players' union reached a contract agreement on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matt York) (The Associated Press)

  • 9ad6dd9f96478501260f6a7067003bdd.jpg

    The Phoenix Coyotes' Lauri Korpikoski, of Finland, right, passes Marin Hanzal, of the Czech Republic, as he heads for the ice for the Coyotes' first voluntary skate Sunday, Jan. 13, 2012 in Glendale, Ariz., since the NHL and the players' Union reached a contract agreement Saturday. The NHL will start is 119 day lockout-shortened season Jan. 19th. (AP Photo/Matt York) (The Associated Press)

  • 5dbc0a1796498501260f6a706700b19d.jpg

    The Phoenix Coyotes participate in their first voluntary skate Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 in Glendale, Ariz., since the NHL and the players' Union reached a contract agreement Saturday. The NHL will start is 119 day lockout-shortened season Jan. 19th. (AP Photo/Matt York) (The Associated Press)

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    Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett talks with the media on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz., before the teams' first hockey workouts after the NHL and the players' union reached a contract agreement on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matt York) (The Associated Press)

The NHL's 48-game season will put a premium on teams getting off to a fast start.

With so few games, there's not a lot of time to make up ground.

The Phoenix Coyotes appear to be one of the teams in good position to get out to a quick start.

The Coyotes have essentially the same roster from last season, which was the best in franchise history, and play in a defense-first system that might not take as long to get rolling as teams that are based on speed and precision.

Phoenix also has a deep roster and most of its players where active during the lockout, either playing in Europe, the minor leagues or together at informal workouts at the team's practice facility.

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