Well, the time has come – round 1 has ended, eight teams will move on, including four of the Original 6 teams, including the BRUINS, which is nothing if not incredibly sexy. Bruins-Flyers is going to be a teeth-shedding bone-breaking messpile, and I can’t wait. OLD TIME HOCKEY.
Unfortunately, the one team I enjoy who is not an original 6 didn’t make it – the Phoenix Coyotes. I’m not a bandwagoner by any means; that being said, living out west lent itself nicely to me adopting the Coyotes as a second team. They’re chippy and adorable and they never give up, and I fell for that. Somehow, I managed to see them play three times this season; here is a little timeline of my Yotes experience. Muchas gracias to this team for giving me an entertaining time!
The moment I might have fallen – vs. TBL in Loveland, CO
I found out about this preseason game before I even moved to the west. Got super excited originally because Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums, former P-Bruins, were in the TBL system and would probably play, and sort of excited for the Coyotes because a friend of mine was keeping tabs on Sami Lepisto. The reason this game was played here? The Colorado Eagles, who inhabit the Bud Events Arena in Loveland, began an affiliation with the Lightning this season. Hey, NHL hockey 15 minutes from my house (Denver was an hour)? I wasn’t complaining!
Coyotes won in a shootout (which I guess set the tone for their season!) and afterward, my friend and I were the ONLY TWO to go around back to the player entrance to meet both teams! Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis were entertaining, but the moment that made my night was when Bryz signed my program and Prucha came barrelling out of the player entrance juggling two slices of pizza and a diet coke. I sort of just went like OH MAN WHO IS THIS KID and my friend, a Rangers fan, was just like PRUUUUUUU.
And I met Sami. So there you go.
Coyotes 4 Lightning 3 (SO)
Do not wear a black jersey in the desert or you will die – vs. BOS in Glendale
Colorado was depressing and I was homesick so at the beginning of October to counter it I looked up the absolute closest game Boston would play to where I lived. It turned out to be the Coyotes, two weeks later. So on a whim I bought myself glass seats behind the Bruins’ bench and booked it for Phoenix on Friday night after the Bruins vs. Stars game ended. Left at 10PM Friday for a 7PM Saturday game. Fifteen hours of driving through deserts and Indian reservations (where I got the best huevos rancheros wrap I have EVER EVER EVER had) later (and one Dunkin Donuts stop, another thing Colorado lacked)
I finally made it dying of exhaustion by 3PM, when I was supposed to meet up with Coyotes tailgaters! Now, first of all, I was tired and FORGOT ABOUT THE TIME CHANGE. Um, yeah, it was actually 2PM. Second of all, the tailgate blew my MIND. I had never tailgated before for any sport! We don’t really do that in Boston. I had my Thomas jersey on and nearly died of heat exhaustion (it was 95 degrees out) but managed to enjoy my margarita and walk around Jobing.com to search for other Bruins fans (I FOUND SOME IT WAS AWESOME).
Regardless of the fact that my team lost, I couldn’t hate; Coyotes fans are endearing and desperate and they HOWL for their goals and they won 4-1. I left a little bit enchanted with the concept of hockey in the desert: so unnatural but somehow so wonderful.
Coyotes 4 Bruins 1
In which I entertain Shane Doan – vs. COL in Denver
I wish I could have gotten a photo of Doanface laughing at this sign, because he did. I held it up on the Coyotes end during warmups, wore my Jets shirt (closest thing I had!) and he kept pointing over while he was standing next to Lang, I believe? And laughing. Not sure if Bryz even saw it, but it was worth it to see happy Captain Doan. And……I snuck down to sit behind the coyotes bench during the game! Scandalous.
They lost this game but I also got to meet @yotesgurl at this game, which was epic. I’m a sucker for cheering for the away team, which was also a bonus!
Coyotes 1 Avalanche 4
So in conclusion: Prague? Prague. Yes. Let’s do it. It’s gonna be a long offseason but it’ll be worth it in October, desert dogs!