GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 17: Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game against the New York Rangers at Jobing.com Arena on December 17, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Coyotes 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes are facing a very busy schedule in the week before Christmas. They'll face the Panthers and the Hurricanes on the road before coming home to host the Blues.
The Phoenix Coyotes are currently sitting in third place in the Pacific Division with 35 points, although they are just two points behind both the San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars, who both have 37 points.
This week would be an excellent opportunity for Phoenix to try and rack up some points. It's a very busy week for the Coyotes, as they will play two road games and a home game, all before Christmas Eve.
First up, the Coyotes will have their toughest challenge of the week as they travel to Florida to take on the Florida Panthers, who are currently one of the strongest teams in the league. The Panthers hold a 18-9-6 record and 42 points, sitting in first place atop the Southeast Division. That game will take place on Tuesday, December 20 at 5:30 PM MST.
The Coyotes will be right back at it the next day, as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes preset a significantly easier opponent, as they're the current cellar-dwellers in the Southeast. That game starts at 5:00 PM MST.
The Coyotes will finally come home on Friday, December 23 to host the St. Louis Blues, who will be far from pushovers. The Blues are in second place in the stacked Central Division, duking it out with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. Friday's game begins at 7:00 PM MST and is set to air on FS-A.