So, the identity of the Blackhawks' first round opponents has been revealed: the Men Of Four Feathers will be going head to head with the Dogs Of The Desert. With reports coming in that Phoenix's
Geocities Page Official Website has crashed due to unprecendented traffic as Blackhawks fans in their tens seek for more information on the Coyotes (as of now it appears to redirect you to an early build of a "Quebec Nordiques" site?), we have decided to collate some handy facts about our favourite doomed franchise.
The Coyote: so Lonesome. So Very, Very Lonesome.
In 1996 a team from a struggling, cash strapped Market, that played in a dilapidated arena relocated South in controversial circumstances to form a new team; incorporating an iconic bird into their name. However, things came together quickly for this team and indeed, just a few years later they achived the Ultimate Prize in their Sport. But that's enough about the Baltimore Ravens.
Phoenix' home for the first eight years after the move from Winnipeg was the America West Arena which, sadly, was utterly unsuited for NHL Hockey. Fortunately, so was the team. The difficulties in squeezing in an NHL rink led to problems with visibility and meant that the capacity had to be reduced from 17,000 to 16,000. These are now referred to as the "Glory Days" of attendance.. Eventually the team moved to the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, which provides space for 17,500 people to not come and see the Yotes.
Due to the murderous cost of building the new arena, falling attendances and having the 2006 All-Star Game cancelled on them, (it was felt that if people wanted to watch an essentially meaningless, high-scoring game the Olympic matchup between Latvia and Russia would do just fine) the Coyote's owner went bankrupt, leading the NHL to step in and take over the team. Luckily, under the steady hand of the people who have eliminated headshots, implemented realignment and brought in the hugely popular "Guardian Project" , the Coyotes have thrived in the Desert, as Gary Bettman keeps telling Jim Balsillie, while ordering bulk quantities of French For Dummies from Amazon.
Shane Doan is the only player on the Yotes current roster who dates back to their days in Winnipeg. Although, when he was told during relocation that he would be moving to an arid, featureless, hostile environment where the slightest error outdoors can make the difference between life and death, he assumed he was being traded to Detroit.
Meet The Fans:
Phoenix fans are renowned for being welcoming and friendly. They will happily take the time to greet visitors to their Arena and fill you in on all sorts of local knowledge and post-game tips. Plus, it's nice for them to have someone to talk to. It's considered bad form to ask them if they'll still root for the Coyotes when they're in Quebec. Jobing.com Arena has state of the art facilities and can proudly boast the shortest lines at concessions, easiest parking and most legroom (sometime even a whole row to yourself!) in the League.
Another big turnout for Adrian Aucoin Bobblehead Night
Player To Watch:
Mike Smith!, the man described in Puck Daddy's Season Preview as likely to be the biggest bust on the team, has been anything but. He comes thundering out of the Regular Season with a 0.930 Sv% and a 2.21 GAA, good for 3rd overall in the league and a sure-fire Vezina candidate. However , Roberto Luongo boasted 0.928 and 2.11 this time last year so there's always that.. (This Message Brought To You By The Department of Straw-Clutching)
Local internet-based recruitment company Jobing.com own the name rights to the Coyote's barn. It is rumoured that their first planned advertising campaign was going to be a large picture labelled "Wayne Gretzky: Head Coach" with a subtitle "Don't Let This Happen To You/Jobing.com"
"I've got a really cool one of this awesome Hindu Symbol here somewhere.."
There really was only one candidate for this, wasn't there? Raffi Torres, the man's man.
We're not sure which we're most in awe of: either his sheer bravery in waiting till Brent Seabrook wasn't looking before attempting to decapitate him or the commitment to doing his job as best he could in going after him again in the same game. The subsequent concussion suffered by Seabrook must have made him so proud. And I'm sure his hard-working, immigrant parents were delighted when he showed up at a Halloween party in blackface. Torres claimed that he was just doing it because he was a "Huge fan of Jay-Z"and proved it by doing a stirring rendition of 99 Problems (But Maaaammy Ain't One), complete with Jazz Hands.
Could well be a rare case of someone becoming even more of a Douchecopter after leaving the Canucks.
What Won't Happen:
Phoenix defeat New York in dramatic fashion after a tthrilling seven-game Cup Final series, causing Jeremy Roenick to start blubbering "It-it's the Phoenix Coyotes, man" on live TV, until Mike Milbury slaps him upside the head.
What Might Happen:
Phoenix finally break their streak of never having won a Playoffs Series since the relocation because, you know, the Hawks have been good about that sort of thing this season.
What Will Happen:
After losing the series in Chicago the entire Phoenix team vanishes from their hotel. Following dark rumours about a fleet of NHL barges making their way up Lake Michigan under cover of darkness, they finally reappear looking glassy-eyed in Quebec (glassier in Aucoin's case), wearing Nordiques uniforms and denying that a team called the "Coyotes" ever existed. Gary Bettman deflects media questions by saying
"Hockey in the desert? You must be kidding me. You know what you get in the desert? Mirages. Next question? "
What's the most likely to happen?
Radim Vrbata's name causes Foley to sprain his tongue. We almost forgive him for everything. (8 votes)
There is a bit of a mix up when all six Blackhawks players simultaneously drop the gloves with Torres as soon as he hits the ice on his first shift (41 votes)
Blackhawks arrfive in Glendale to find stadium locked up and in darkness and a page out of Rand McNally showing the route to Quebec pinned to the door (32 votes)
81 total votes