December 31, 2013
It’s the end of the year, we’re celebrating at a SOLD OUT New Year’s Eve Coyotes game tonight. The return of the oft-quoted yet rumored to be locker room poison Ilya Bryzgalov will likely be met with a mixed boo and cheer fest. There’s little middle ground regarding Bryz with Coyotes fans.
It’s the second sold out game in a row. Despite crowdwatch trolls dismissing large crowds as being a result of freebie ticket counts based on unannounced, rumored, and plain imaginary facts; normal people see this as an encouraging thing for the Coyotes.
I went back to the 2005-2006 season looking for consecutive non-playoff sellouts, I couldn’t find attendance numbers by game for earlier games within the time I allotted to this task.
A result that surprised me was a consecutive sellout last year during the lockout shortened season, even though the teams involved are big draws at Jobing.com arena. A Thursday Canucks game had the rink at 100.6% capacity and a Wings game the following Monday drew 101.8%.
In 2009-2010, the last four games of the year were sold out prior to the team going to the playoffs for the first time in awhile. Back in 2005-2006, two sold out games in a row happened three times, including twice around this time of year.
Sounds like good progress to me. Three in a row could be difficult with the Blue Jackets coming up next for a Thursday game. We’ll be there, though.
Happy New Year, Coyotes brothers and sisters. 2014 will bring us a healed Captain that’s hopefully none the worse for wear. It looks like 2014 will also bring us more people joining us at the arena and probably a playoff berth again.
Whichever way you feel about the NHL season being interrupted by the Olympics, it’s a great event we’ll all watch in a month or so.
Life’s good in the desert.
December 29, 2013
GREAT comeback by the Coyotes to erase the Ducks home ice two goal lead in the waning minutes of the game! The Coyotes played well the entire game, Greiss was cool as a German cucumber in goal.
That said, one point games won’t cut the mustard in the Western Conference nor the Pacific Division. Another division championship for the Coyotes honestly looks close to out of reach with the Ducks 14 points ahead and looking like they might not choke this year. The Sharks and Kings look solid behind the Ducks, although the Canucks are within easy shooting distance of a resurgent Coyotes.
The Avs look like they’re losing steam, marching down the standings after a spectacular start. They sit only two points ahead of the Coyotes, although they have one game in hand and have the hapless Winnipeg Jets on tap tonight.
With Brule and Szwarz going back to Portland, there’s a forwards hole in the roster that needs to be filled. Does that mean Shane Doan will be making his return for the New Year’s Eve game against the Oilers?
We all hope so for a lot of reasons, mostly because we want to see 19 healthy. And, while he’s at it, if he does the Doaner thing on the ice (he WAS leading in points) we would be happy.
Expect the roof to pop off Jobing.com for awhile after the starting lines are announced Tuesday evening if Shane Doan’s in the list.
It’s not a likely thing, though, according to the uncannily accurate Craig Morgan:
Don’t make the leap that b/c Brule’ & Szwarz have been re-assigned, Doan is ready to return to the #Coyotes. I’m told that’s not the case.
— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) December 29, 2013
Nine of the next eleven games are at home, lots of howling fans at the rink would probably help. Let’s DO this thing.
Speaking of the Coyotes family, I hear we have the grandson of Bill Dutton, one of the ownership group and the guy that dropped the puck for the first home game, going to the Olympics as a speed skater for Team Canada. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Dutton and a bunch of his family, they’re salt of the earth types that always have the time for a chat. We’re lucky to have them as part of our team here.
I’m not sure if the fast guy William is the son of our sort of neighbor Scott Dutton, but if he is then congrats to you, too!
Third place today in the 500m at Canadian Olympic selections. Sochi here I come!! http://t.co/bhTRQaTVaA
— William Dutton (@WilliamCDutton) December 29, 2013
December 27, 2013
BIG night tonight as the Coyotes take on the Sharks. The crowdwatch and ticket sales and the Coyotes not paying their way people take another punch with a standing room only sellout. Expect the announced attendance to be over capacity. Also on tap is the first Tim Horton’s in Arizona. While I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts guy, this is a big deal for many and certainly for the Canadian snowbird crowd. Another win for the Ice Arizona boys. Boom.
December 24, 2013
The Coyotes go into Christmas break back in the playoff hunt at number 8 in the crazy difficult Western Conference. The Captain is likely to be around the rink for practice and the sold out Sharks game on the 27th. Things are pretty good, in fact they’re pretty good all over (click here). Merry Christmas!
The Coyotes finally are everywhere on the TV and in the press. I don’t think it was a good goal because the puck was out of sight, the whistle should have stopped play, and nobody called the goal on the ice except the Sabres players. Meanwhile, the Coyotes squandered a five minute power play (for the elbow to OEL’s face) to score as many goals as they could. Going to overtime against the worst team in the NHL that was further hampered by a short bench isn’t something that’s good. By the way, I’ve watched it a bunch of times and can’t decide if Marty deflected the puck while it was higher than the crossbar for the single goal against Miller. I did read his lips during the ensuing review “I didn’t touch it.” But, the goal was awarded to him and maybe the expression on his face later tells the story. Crude people might say the Coyotes were lucky to pull one point out of their ass.
December 23, 2013
The Wild opened up a shot at the eighth slot in the Western Conference with their loss to the Rangers last night. They have a point in hand, although the Coyotes have enough GAMES in hand that it’s likely the Wild will eventually drop to be ranked beneath the Coyotes. Anyway, if it doesn’t make you physically ill, rooting for the Flyers to whomp the Wild is something Coyotes fans should consider this evening. Of course, winning games is really the only way to climb the standings, so a win against the Sabres is the main thing. The team is working on a couple days rest and whatever momentum the great win in Toronto offers. The last time the Coyotes played in Buffalo, nearly native son @BizNasty2point0 scored the game winning goal in front of his friends and family. Coach Tippett is a player’s coach, so I’d expect Biz to get some ice time after sitting for a few games. Listen to a Biz chirbit with @WalshTodd by clicking here and get extra points for why Mr. Walsh has some Rainman qualities. Tim Kennedy IS a native son who, as did I, survived a Catholic prep school. TK, however, took the easy road with the Franciscans (as opposed to the Irish Christian Brothers). He’s earned his minutes on the ice, has been skating with Vrby and Marty, and should also have a lot of friends and family in the crowd. Puck drops at 5 AZ time.
December 21, 2013
Wow, huh? A 4-3 MUCH NEEDED overtime win in the Sens house. Who stepped up for the missing Captain this afternoon? Antoine Vermette with a hat trick AND for everything else he did for the entire game. A beast. Vermette is wearing an “A” while Shane is out and it appears he his taking his role seriously. Leadership begins with performance “do what I do” on the ice and elsewhere. Does #50 expect the other guys to block shots WITH THEIR HEAD like Antoine did in this game? Probably now. Meanwhile, had Anthony LeBlanc not visited the Fox Sports guys in the booth and/or visited the radio guys instead, the Sens would have had one less point.
Oh, and let’s lay off the penalties okay? Way too many, especially from people that really shouldn’t be taking these sorts of trips to the box. The roughing call on Smitty was okay, though, since he’s the anti-goalie.
Get well soon, Shane!
— Phoenix Coyotes (@phoenixcoyotes) December 21, 2013
December 20, 2013
Shane Doan has some form of Rocky Mountain fever. (click here) That’s no fun, it’s debilitating and it takes a while to recover. It’s a tick borne disease, Doaner is around animals all the time. He’s not a poser cowboy, he’s the real deal in case you weren’t aware. He probably picked it up from a “brown dog tick” which inhabits any color dog, not just brown ones. Arizona is no bargain for Rocky Mountain, see the hot spot map from the CDC, or click here to go to their website. Approximately 10% of people diagnosed 2003-2010 in Arizona died, mostly because it wasn’t previously known in the area. It’s no joke. Career-wise, it’s a shame for 19 because he was on pace to have a personal best season. Now that won’t happen this year. Keep punching, Captain.
Z is out for awhile, having aggravated a hip injury. On the plus side, Korpi will be back in Ottawa. Great piece from Canada on Klinkhammer (click here), just another of the inspirational stories skating around in a Coyotes sweater. Follow @BobbyKlink if you like cat pictures.
Hey, we all know the puck was likely over the goal line, don’t we? What we didn’t know is that the zebras on the ice don’t have any responsibility for making a goal call immediately. I think that was news to everybody. We also didn’t know that a ref could see a goal and only inform the goalie, leaving the rest of us in the dark. What we also didn’t know was that “logic” could be used to make a goal call and that visual evidence wasn’t actually required in the NHL. Maybe a “do over” would be more fair if such a weird thing happens again? That’s what we’d do in any pond or pickup game. Otherwise it’s just “I don’t recognize this hair, therefore a Sasquatch has been here!” Had the Coyotes put an extra shot past Reimer there wouldn’t have been a shootout. The Coyotes schooled the Leafs for the whole game, but couldn’t make it pay. Why? I’m no hockey expert, but it didn’t look like many of the 35 shots on goal were really good chances. And sometimes you just run into a hot goalie. One point is better than none, but the “games in hand” advantage is rapidly disappearing.
December 18, 2013
It happened again. The Coyotes schooled the Habs everywhere on the ice last night and even managed to score first on Doaner’s cousin Carey Price. Then it fell apart. Z is out AGAIN and the penalty kill went with him. Western Conference teams have been dominating the NHL for some time now, it’s clear the strength of professional hockey lives in the west. The Coyotes have a few games in hand and had four games back east to bank eight points. They need to get those points because nobody else in the west is taking their foot off the gas. The Pacific Division, in particular, is scary good. The Coyotes left two points on the table in Montreal, they’re now four points out of the playoff race behind the Wild. Hopefully they’ll pick up the next six (Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo) before returning home for their sold out gig against the Sharks after Christmas. On another note, apparently Habs fans aren’t as hockey savvy as they used to be way back when I was going to the Forum. Why do I think that? Somehow they don’t thing Pacioretty tripped Mike Smith. He did. Pacioretty then decided to wave the white flag rather than throw down with Klinkhammer. The crowd booed every time Smitty touched the puck, and he plays the puck a LOT. I assume they considered his fall to the ice was a dive. They should know, at least according to Bruins coach Claude Julien (click here).
December 17, 2013
The Coyotes are in Montreal tonight. The Habs have recently had the Coyotes number. Tonight should be different.
I had the pleasure of splitting Habs season tickets for two years while living in the wilds of the Adirondacks. The banners hanging in the old building are now hanging in the new one, I imagine they’re intimidating to visiting teams. This is a new era, though. Captain Shane Doan had some Francophonic troubles stemming from an allegation he called the zebras on the ice “f***ing French” during a 2005 game, during which he was penalized for the slur. Doaner denied the allegation and he was cleared by NHL officials. Turns out the slur probably did actually happen and it probably came from the mouth of winger Nagy. Perhaps the zebras confused Nagy’s Czech accent with the accent of that nearby central European state where Doaner is from. Alberta. One of the liberal f***ing French politicians, Denis Coderre, just couldn’t let it go. Doaner sued him for defamation and for spelling his first name with only one “n”. Coderre is now the MAYOR OF MONTREAL. Coderre wanted Doan bounced from the Canadian Olympic hockey team because of his alleged trash talking that Doaner and the NHL said never happened. Coderre, uncharacteristically not surrendering, counter-sued Shane. “I don’t have a single thing to hide about any of this. The NHL investigated it. When they investigated it, there was nothing there. Nothing at all. I did not say a single thing. It wasn’t like I said almost something like that. I was trying to calm down our goalie. I was not talking to the officials.” The legal actions were settled in 2010, it’s over. Any sane person would believe Doaner, but the fans in the stands tonight don’t. They’ll stick with the mayor of their mob controlled, yet quite pleasant, city and hate on the Coyotes Captain and his team until they’re dead. Say hi if you see Guy LaFleur, but win this one for Doaner. Disclaimer: I really don’t hate the f***ing French or Montreal.
December 15, 2013
Shane Doan made an appearance in front of some reporters and vaguely explained his health issues. He looked like he had been sick, we’ve all been there so we know what THAT feels like. He also looked like he’s on his way back, and he reassured everybody that is the case. Phew. We’re all relieved for Shane and his family.
Sheesh not a pretty loss to the ‘Canes last night, play seemed sloppy and slow to me. The bright spot of the night was the BizNasty goal. Biz is lighting up the scoreboard like a pinball machine this year. No, you don’t think so? Fox noted he is averaging a point per 15:28 played, THE BEST IN THE NHL (for guys that played more than five games). Biz is the BEST IN THE NHL, so shut up, haters.
December 13, 2013
Great 6-3 win against the Islanders, right? Sure, there was a little lapse the Islanders took advantage of to nearly tie it up. Sure, they scored first, but we were never worried, were we? Klinkhammer and Boedker both had two goals and were on the ice for the final PP. Boeds later admitted to Walshy that, given an open Klinkhammer and his own shot at the hattie, he would shoot instead of pass. Mike Ribeiro was making things happen last night, he got robbed TWICE on basically the same glove side shot from close in. So, where did he shoot his one goal? Glove side. Ribeiro is coming on strong. Yandle also stood out, but the whole team was playing with a purpose. Best shot of the night was from 89, in my opinion, he waited-waited-waited and then sniped a shot exactly where it had to go. That’s what Boeds needs to continue to ink his big contract. The leadership of the Coyotes has closed ranks and is performing like they have decided not to lose while the Captain is out. And let’s keep the cool howling going, okay? It sounds great on the tube and, based on the chippy reaction from the Islanders last night, is really annoying to the opposition.
The buzz around the arena was mostly about the Captain, of course. Lots of hockey experts somehow morphed into medical experts with their own diagnoses of what mystery is ailing Shane Doan. From Craig Morgan’s story: General manager Don Maloney sought to dispel those rumors on Thursday. Doan is not going to miss the rest of the season. He does not have a terminal illness (this idea was actually circulating), and he is not dealing with an injury the team is trying to conceal. “It’s an illness, he’s getting treatment and he’s feeling better,” Maloney said Thursday. “Whether he’s out another day, a week or a month, I can’t really say right now.” So it’s not great news, but the takeaway is Shane Doan will get better and will be back on the ice. GMDM went on to say the team should be in a position to say “what it is” (Doaner’s ailment) today. An interesting footnote is the fan reaction. In talking with people around the rink last night, not ONE of them was really concerned about the impact of losing the points or impact on the ice that the Captain provides. To a man (or woman), the concern was personal. The worry was for the Doan family and for Shane, losing a few games because he is out didn’t seem to be a “thing” at all. Doaner has earned that respect, and more, over the years, but earning something doesn’t mean you necessarily get it, though. It’s a good feeling to be around the Coyotes pack because they afford the man that level of respect and I’m glad our family is part of that crew. Get well soon, Doaner.
Then there’s this rerun to celebrate @BobbyKlink‘s performance: http://youtu.be/zeKu8ibsapE
December 12, 2013
Islanders tonight, Smitty back from his illness and ready to start. This is a revenge game against the Islanders, who unexpectedly pounded the Coyotes on Long Island awhile ago. Walshy’s “chirbits” should always be listened to, there’s always a tidbit or two in there. Today, Biz analyzed his assist in the Avalanche game very exactly (and puts in a bid for the “Todd Walsh sidekick” job). http://chirb.it/kgGDvG “When you watch it on NHL.com like 60 times when you get home after a flight, you kinda break it down like that.” When the remark was made about Biz’s detailed analysis, Coach said (http://chirb.it/kbx3sI at around 3:33): “Close his eyes and kinda shoot it at somebody?” Okay, we love these guys. Tippett then went on to offer his real evaluation of Bissonnette as a player, worth a listen. By the way, check minutes played against points ratio, if there is something like that, for Twitter superstar Biznasty before you chirp too loudly.
December 11, 2013
Hey how about Vermette and Greiss last night in Denver, HUH!!?! How about Vermette and Greiss last night in Denver, HUH?!!! They BEAT the Avs goalie, didn’t they? The whole team ARRESTED the progress of Varlamov and his team, 3-1. And that “1” was a pretty fluky goal (hug the post next time when somebody is behind the net, Greiss). More of that and the Coyotes are back up to speed.
Hey, the Fox Sports Arizona bus is ready to rumble, too!
December 9, 2013
Hey, there’s lots of negative buzz today from “hockey experts” about the Coyotes hosting a winter OUTDOOR game. Really? Here’s why it will happen. The All Star game was scheduled for Glendale in 2006 and cancelled because it was an Olympic year. This may have been before Google was invented and somebody from the NHL could have researched when the Winter Olympics were being held before scheduling the date. I’m not sure what started the social media action, maybe this, including verification from somebody that knows it’s been floated as an option:
First of all, a LOT of years ago there was an outdoor game in a parking lot in Las Vegas. The technology is there, and we have TWO stadiums here to choose from. The first, University of Phoenix stadium is coincidentally managed by the SAME people that are partnered with Ice Arizona for the Coyotes. The second, Chase Field, is downtown Phoenix where many of the same naysayers say the Coyotes should have stayed. Here’s a theory you should consider. The Super Bowl (that’s a big football game like the Grey Cup but with real football teams for some “hockey experts”) will be here in Glendale in 2015. LOTS of people will be in town, LOTS of reporters, LOTS of television and LOTS of MONEY. When is there hockey in Yankee Stadium this year and when is the Super Bowl? So, since University of Phoenix stadium will be fully booked for the Super Bowl, why not Chase Field as a proper venue? It makes a ton of sense, retractable roof to make the ice making and maintenance predictable until the game, etc. These games are all about exposure and revenue for the NHL, this is a natural. Ask the Barrett-Jackson guys when they will be having their auction in 2015. I would almost bet an outdoor hockey game in Phoenix in 2015. Even the CBS sports site jumped on it after we did. Click here.
December 7, 2013
The Bruins’ Shawn Thornton is a goon that needs to sit for a really long time. Geez, man, if you want to fight you need to follow the rules. Double suckering a guy, even Orpik, is way over the line. I hear, though, that Orpik rocked Eriksson out of the game with a shot people are calling questionable, so it was a response to that AND Orpik not wanting to drop the gloves.
Summary judgments: 1. Orpik’s hit on Eriksson was hockey play, could’ve been minor for interference but well within context of game action. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 8, 2013
2. Orpik shouldn’t necessarily be obliged to answer the bell to Thornton on THAT hit. It wasn’t that egregious. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 8, 2013
3. Neal on Marchand may or may not have been sneaky dirty or accidentally on purpose but that’s for NHL Player Safety to determine. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 8, 2013
Sounds a little like the Bertuzzi classic? http://youtu.be/GuVq-TZ7AJM
Today’s the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a world changing event.The Coyotes didn’t exactly do themselves any favors last night with their overtime loss to the Canucks. Some key guys were missing, but that’s what you have to deal with in a season of hockey. Sure, once again the team managed to come back from a 2-0 deficit, but… We hear the team may have been confused with the identical twins on the ice, doubting that one guy could be everywhere like that. We even caught Vrby self administering a sobriety and eyesight check on the bench.
December 5, 2013
I never miss a chance to push a Doaner story, I’m a bit of a fan. Read Five For Howling today.
This is great, especially the finale. http://youtu.be/Qmto3vR_2IU
Ouch, huh? After a great game in Edmonton, the Coyotes collapsed in Calgary with a 4-1 beatdown coming from the Flames who are currently residing near the bottom of the Western Conference. Blah, blah it was second of two in a row and everybody was tired. Tomorrow is the Canucks and it would be a great time for a rebound. I hear there was some typical Yandle hating on the social media following the game and little or no OEL hating. The TOI for both guys was almost identical last night, 26:37 for Yands and 26:50 for OEL, so it’s not likely Coach Tippett is hating either guy much. Yandle took five shots, including the only goal of the night for the Coyotes. OEL took zero shots. Yandle’s +/- was 0, OEL’s was -1. I don’t know if there was hating on Greiss, but he’d be a likely candidate considering he faced 18 shots and let in 4. Or maybe Vrby who completely coasted instead of covering his man resulting in a goal. Hockey is a team sport, especially in the Coyotes case and their scoring by committee system. I’m no hockey expert, but every time I see a game like last night it always seems that, for whatever reason, the Coyotes compete level is a few clicks off and they lose the battles for the puck. Singling out any one guy is shortsighted, especially if that guy never misses playing a game and is always near the top of the points totals for the team.
December 4, 2013
So, yeah, the Coyotes started off their western Canada swing with a big win over the Edmonton Oilers due in large part to reviving the Coyotes game, much tighter checking and resurgent performances from Mike Ribeiro and Mikkel Boedker. Click here for FFH’s Brendan Porter’s recap of the game. Oh and yeah, let’s trade Yandle. http://youtu.be/oiU-mbVfQDo
Tonight the western swing continues with a tilt at the Saddledome, flooded and badly messed up in the same event that took Coyotes honcho George Gosbee’s house. Most of the Ice Arizona guys are Calgary people, which is a good thing. There’s familiarity in Albertans with a western attitude that plays perfectly here in Arizona. The Captain and plenty of Coyotes players and even Tyson Nash are from Alberta. Expect plenty of team, family and friends supporting the Coyotes tonight and expect a LOT of will to win on the ice. Don’t miss it, hopefully you have Fox Sports AZ PLUS (the Suns are playing on the “regular” channel) to tune in at 7:30 PM. Click here for the PLUS channel finder.
December 3, 2013
Big game in Edmonton tonight for the Coyotes, their leadership is undoubtedly feeling a lot of pressure to turn things around for this road swing through western Canada. Click here for a Walshy chirbit from Coach Tippett.
Proving that you don’t have to live in Canada to forward your troll agenda, a Colorado flack chimed in on Twitter today with his own misinformational chirp:
Phoenix Coyotes, still last in NHL in attendance, down even from last year. Wasn’t it all about stable ownership? — adater (@adater) December 3, 2013
The reality of the situation is that Coyotes attendance is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Dater is using numbers from last year’s impossible to figure out lockout shortened season numbers instead of those from the full season prior. Why? To fudge the numbers, of course, and to allow him to shirp a snarky comment. Here’s a graph from @fishbert:
Those numbers are easy enough for even a potentially contact high inflated Denver resident to understand. But, they don’t support an “easy” chirp. After being schooled in math by Coyotes people, the troll finally gets in one last, hilarious we’ve never heard THAT one before, “chirp”:
We’ll see how the year ends, Chuckles. Until then… Get bent, Dater.
In related news, the Avalanche goalie charged with third degree assault for smacking his girlfriend around again appeared in court yesterday with the same law firm his coach used for his domestic assault rap. They kicked the can down the road to another court date January 22, where Varlamov will enter his plea. Some time before that, not wanting to wait until January 22, he’ll probably petition the court to allow him to travel to Russia so he can play for his country. There’s no reason to believe they would say no. Once he enters his plea, probably “not guilty” so he can kick the can further down the road, he will probably go to the Olympics, continue playing for the Avalanche upon his return, then bargain his assault charge down to a fine while throwing in a substantial yet undisclosed settlement to his girlfriend some time after the season.
December 1, 2013
Wow, the Blackhawks are a pretty good hockey team. One good thing is that 2,317 more people attended the Coyotes game than attended the last Winnipeg Jets game.