For the Love of… Ice Hockey, or more importantly, the Phoenix Coyotes

Ah, in my opinion the finest sport there is. You get some great athletes who play 9 months out of the year (that’s a pregnancy ladies and gentlemen), who, when injured during a game, go in the back room, get patched up and come right back out (other sports the players just cry and whine over a little bruise and are out for the remainder of the game). Plus, the game is really fast pace.

Now, being born and raised in Arizona, of course I love the Phoenix Coyotes. Hell, I’m so excited about the fact that they are still in Arizona. Now, with the whole possibility of them being renamed as “the Arizona Coyotes” is absolute bull. I mean, sure, there is only one team in AZ that is represented by the capital, but come on, they will ALWAYS be the Phoenix Coyotes. Now, unlike many a hockey fan around the world, I absolutely HATE the Detroit fucking Redwings. It’s not so much the team (though when they come to play in Phoenix, it really fucking sucks), it is the fans.

The Detroit Redwing fans are unique. They arrive at the game early, drunk. They drink in the parking lot, getting MORE drunk. They go into the Glendale/Jobing.com Arena and, you guessed it, GET EVEN MORE DRUNK. They have got to be some of the rudest, most obnoxious fans any team has had. I am fine with people cheering for their team, being respectful of other fans’ opinions, but so help me, Detroit fans don’t get it. They shove people around, they cuss and swear around children who are attending the game with their family; it is not an enjoyable experience when Detroit comes to town.

Now I will say this: the greatest thing I ever saw at a Coyotes/Redwings game was a Phoenix Coyote fan going up to a group of drunk Redwing fans after a tough loss for the Yotes. The Redwing fans were waving around a large Redwing flag, swearing and talking loudly. The Coyotes fan, bless him, approached the group slowly, grabbed the Redwing flag from them and took off like a bat out of hell. It took the Redwings fans a few moments before they realized what happened and they took off after the guy. Being drunk, they ran into people, tripped and were swaying alarmingly. Still, I never learned who that Coyotes fan was, but all I can say is hats off to him for having the balls to do that to the Redwings. If ever I met you, I probably would kiss you for that.

Now, back from reminiscing. Anyways, the Phoenix Coyotes have been dealing with a lot of crap these last few years. Bad coaching, bad luck, bad finances. Nowadays things have been looking brighter. The Coyotes last year made their first NHL Play-off debut since 1997. This was greatly helped along by the staffing changes made. Alright, I am a fan of Wayne Gretzky the player, but not Wayne Gretzky the head coach. He was not good. He always said what needed to be done but never managed to accomplish it. On the other hand, Dave Tippett, the head coach that replaced Gretzky, came out and said what needed to be done. Then he saw it through. Last year, Tippett’s first year coaching the Coyotes, the team made it to the playoffs. This season the Coyotes are looking good for another playoff spot.

Now, sadly for me, this season I have only been able to attend one Coyotes home game. Because I am up at school, and do not go home every weekend, I am forced to watch home games on television or scour the internet for a means to watch the game. I will say this, though, I have been frustrated with the season. I have been utterly annoyed by the way they have been playing recently. The only issues I have with the coaching staff is the fact that when Ilya Bryzgalov has several bad games in a row, the staff keeps him in net. Jason LaBarbra has proven that he is a great back-up goaltender and can help the team a lot. The coaching staff just doesn’t utilize him as much as they should.

On another note, I also enjoy watching the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, I know I probably should like the Pittsburg Penguins since my mother is from Pittsburg, I am just not that impressed with the Penguins. Sure, they win a lot of games, but there’s just something about Philly that gets me enjoying their games more.

As for the Winter Classic that the NHL has been putting on, it is a fantastic idea, and I love seeing outdoor games. My issue with it is the teams they choose. I mean, Pittsburg has played twice now in the Winter Classic. What about the other teams around the league? Why can’t the Winter Classic show teams who are not as popular as Detroit, Pittsburg or Washington? I think that would make it all the more interesting then. I’m not saying they absolutely have to have a Coyotes game in there, but it would be nice to see teams from, say the southern half of the United States who usually can’t play pond hockey during their off days would make the Winter Classic a lot more enjoyable.

Well, I guess I’ll simmer down some. For now, I am done writing about the fantastic game of ice hockey. Stay tuned in tomorrow for my next installment of “For the Love of…”

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~ by helixredeemer on February 5, 2011.

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