The Phoenix Coyotes had their best season this year in franchise history (going all the way back to when they were the Winnipeg Jets). It was amazing to watch and we are so proud of what they accomplished. Unfortunately they were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings (I learn every season to hate them more and more - they are like the Yankees, Lakers, and Cowboys of the NHL to me) last night in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. It was extremely disappointing, but even more so because the Coyotes did not play well - and that's a nice way of putting it. Bryzgalov, their goalie, was amazing but you can only save so many shots before they start getting through. And when you're not defending or scoring it becomes a problem. Regardless of how they played last night they were awesome this season. Here are some of the things they did this year:
*Most wins in a season - 50
*Most points in a season - 107
*First trip to the playoffs since the 2001-02 season
*Ilya Bryzgalov nominated for the Vezina Trophy (best goalie)
*Dave Tippett nominated for the Jack Adams Award (best coach)
They did this without a "star" player and with a coach that was hired 9 days before the regular season started. I think getting rid of Gretzky was the best move that was made this year. I guess there was some good that came out of filing for bankruptcy last year!
Anyway, here are some pictures from game 5 last Friday. John took the camera to work so he could get some shots of the arena before everyone showed up (he also went to game 1 which O and I weren't able to make because we were in TX for Erin's wedding - at least he got to see one home win!). O and I left during the second intermission so I'm really glad that they took it to a game 7 so I could see their final game.
A tradition started back in Winnipeg of a "White Out" during the playoffs and has continued here in Phoenix
The next pictures are from game 7 last night. The first two are during the national anthem and the following two are during pregame.
Puck drop to start the game
I am wishing now that I had the camera out at the end of the game. It was pretty cool because with about 1 minute left to play, and the Coyotes down 6-1, all the fans remaining (and it was still almost a full house) stood up and gave the team an ovation through the end of the game and during team handshakes. Then the entire Coyotes team came out to center ice and raised their sticks to the fans. It was neat because most Arizona sports fans are fair weather and it was a classy showing by the fans and the team. There were about 3 douche canoes who threw stuff on the ice which was too bad (2 octopi and 1 beer bottle - the bottle was while the game was going on - dumb-ass). O made it through the game with mostly no problems. She was pretty good considering she was up past her bedtime. We even received two compliments from people sitting around us about how good and well-behaved she was. We must be doing something right!
John said that it is like a funeral at his office today. The adrenalin is gone and people are moping around. Me included. I didn't think that it would effect me like it has. I could understand it being that way for John since he works for the team but I think it's odd for me to feel the same. I guess I was pretty emotionally invested in what was going on with the team and with John wanting them to win. And it has been such a long ass year with a ton of ups and downs and are we moving or are we staying questions going around. Plus we really expected them to win.
There is always next season. Hopefully. One thing I did say to John last night was that it felt like this was the last game the Coyotes would be playing as Coyotes. I hope its not. The fans have really come out for the team and shown their support. And I think they've gained a lot of loyal followers who will continue to come to the games. Things are still up in the air though as far as ownership goes. There are 2 interested groups and I guess the NHL just has to decide on one of them. Continue to keep your fingers crossed that they decide to keep the team here.
Nice season Coyotes! We're looking forward to next year!
And on a side note, to the woman from Michigan who sent an e-mail (from her work e-mail no less) before game 5 last week about us enjoying our last home game as a Phoenix team and how pom-pom's should actually be called pom-pon's: Screw you, grow up, and find more more important things to do with your time.