Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thanks For Coming Out, Phoenix Coyotes
While many will see this as a valiant boost for the team, it could be the worse thing for them if they under-perform next season. It's one thing for Mike Smith to do this during the second-half of the season, but if he should return to Earth, you know the questions will be there again. The defense in front of Smith was solid, as Rusty Klesla, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Keith Yandle played solidly on both ends of the spectrum.
The offense was not very dominant, but the Coyotes never have relied on that much. However, Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata were the top dogs for the Coyotes in the regular season, while Antoine Vermette, of all people, led the way in the playoffs. Shane Doan was contributing where he could and did what he could to make his fairytale playoff continue, but it wasn't enough in the end.
Yet, the last memory that the Coyotes will have this playoff season was the end of Game Five and the interviews afterwords. The players swarming to the referees after the Kings game-winning goal, arguing over a non-call half-a-minute earlier, then the hyperbole that came from their mouths talking about it-- it may have left their most hardened of supporters shaking their heads.
While Yandle's comment about the Coyotes not having an owner made them a sitting duck because no one is there to defend them, this far exceeds passion of a team losing to a team pouting over sour grapes. Many saw the true colors of the Coyotes, including Shane Doan, who's intense play was bordering on dirty; but many gave him the benefit of the doubt.
This team needs an owner and whether or not they stay in Arizona, who cares-- but a leadership is needed for this team to actually know they have someone in their corner. Even if they have to move to Kansas City, they need more support from the top down.