The Coyotes continued preparation for an August 2 matchup against the Nashville Predators by adding zamboni intermissions, official timeouts and music to Wednesday’s scrimmage.
Coach Rick Tocchet said that some might view these minor changes as “corny,” but they are important when preparing to play in an arena with no fans attending.
“When the puck drops, after the music stops, you’re not going to hear any of the fans screaming and yelling. It’s going to be very dead-quiet,” Tocchet said.
Defenseman Alex Goligoski agreed that the games will be much different without the presence of fans, but emphasized the importance of communication on the ice.
“With no fans in the stands, there’s not going to be those moments where you can’t hear each other on the ice,” he said. “Communication is gonna be huge, and looking out for your buddy and being the eyes for your teammates definitely will help.”
Forward Brad Richardson described fanless arenas as “eerie” because of the typical loud atmosphere in playoff hockey, but the veteran still has his eyes set on the Stanley Cup.
“We’re still playing for the same prize,” Richardson said. “I think the fans are gonna hear some interesting things that they normally wouldn’t hear, so I’m looking forward to seeing that.”