Playoffs Are Back In The Desert
One part of me thinks that living in a hockey market like Phoenix, is a little sad sometimes, but at least there is hockey at all. I grew up in Edmonton and enjoyed the Oiler’s as a youngster in the 80’s, so maybe I was spoiled. The other part of me is happy that I am in a market like Phoenix, because I can enjoy the perks of actually being able to get tickets to any game at any time of year.
The other day I jumped on Craigslist to see what there was in the world of game 1 Coyote tickets. There were a bunch to choose from, so I scrolled through checking seats and prices and stumbled upon some that caught my eye. These were 20 rows up in the corner left of Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings. Now, in any Canadian city, I am sure these tickets would have been hundreds of dollars and to actually get them would be a real chore. Anyway, for $75 each, my wife, a friend, and myself, enjoyed a classic playoff game.
The place was electric, everyone in white, screaming, chanting, and heckling. The action was fast, the Red Wings, a skilled veteran team, showed off their talent, with crisp passing, finesse, stick handling, and plenty of shots. The Coyotes on the other hand, a team that surprised everyone this year, and probably continue to, showed the heart, team work, chemistry, and relentless pressure, that has got them to this point. They out hit the Red Wings in a big way, which caused some key turnovers, they won most of the battles for loose pucks and capitalized when they had to. The top scoring defense core in the league had 5 points on the 3 goals and one of the worst power plays in the league went 3 for 4.
It looked like the Coyote game plan was to play with an edge and hit everything that moved. It seems like they realized this is a long series and if they can apply relentless pressure and physical play, they can ware down the aging, and often injured Red Wings. The Coyotes won game one, but it looked as though they were setting themselves up for games in the future as well.
It was the first playoff game I had been to in a long time and I couldn’t have been more pleased, as a hockey fan, with the game that was played by both teams. I will be honest, I am not a fan of either team to any great extent, but living in a city you can adopt a like for a team, especially a team nobody thought would be in the position they are.
Now tonight I can sit back and take in some other rounds on TV (go Canucks), and remember the great experience I shared with my wife and friend, in a place where nobody thinks hockey should be.