Coyotes return to a warm welcome

by Pete Dorris

The Phoenix Coyotes and their fans are ready to see if the Coyotes can bring the Stanley Cup to Glendale during the 2012 -2013 season.

Last year was looking good for the Coyotes who were on the verge of leaving Glendale for Canada. This year, fans were very optimistic about having a season despite the NHL strike, and missing three full months of regular season games.

The Coyotes were in the playoff last year as the number three seed in the Western Conference, and appeared in the Western Finals against the number eight seed, the L.A. Kings.

The season is underway, and the Coyotes look very similar to how they looked last season. Last year, they started 2-3 in the first five games.

This year they are 1-4 with the first five games under their belts. During the first five games of this season, the Coyotes have faced the same teams they faced during the playoffs of the 2011-2012 season.

Jan. 20, the Coyotes opened the season at home facing off with the Chicago Blackhawks. Last year, the Coyotes beat the Blackhawks in first round of the playoffs to advance. The game was close in the first intermission all tied up at 1-1.

With 5:48 played in the second intermission Coyotes Antoine Varette scored putting them up 2-1.

The Coyotes scored shortly after, Chicago answered back with three goals.The score after the second intermission was 4-2 Chicago.

In the third intermission, both teams were even with two goals. The Coyotes ended up falling at home to Chicago in the season opener with score of 6-4.   Jan. 23, the Coyotes were home against the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving the Coyotes their first win of the year at home, defeating Columbus 5-1.

The night of Jan. 24, the Coyotes took the ice in San Jose to face the Sharks. The Coyotes struggled, and ended up losing 5-3.

On Jan. 26, the Coyotes were back at home to face Stanley Cup champions, the L.A. Kings.  Both teams came out strong in the first, both getting nine shots on goal apiece. At the close of the first 20 minutes, the score was tied 0-0.

Not long into the second intermission, the Kings broke the ice, and scored the first goal of the game followed by two more in the second intermission taking the lead 3-1. In the third intermission both teams each had a goal apiece.

The Coyotes fell at home for the second time this year to the Kings 4-2.

“Last year we started off in the same predicament that we are in right now, it is hard to say with what [all has] gone down in the offseason, with losing players and gaining players and the strike. I just hope for another chance in the playoffs this year, I will be happy for a number eight seed as long as we are there when the playoffs start,” Doug Edwards, Coyotes fan said.

What is the biggest gain that will help the coyotes this year?

“AHHH that’s a good question! I would have to say Center Steve Sullivan, he came over from Pittsburgh Penguins, so far he is leading the team with four goals,” Edwards said.

Upcoming home games are Jan. 30, against the Edmonton Oilers, Feb. 2, against the Dallas Stars, Feb. 4, against the Minnesota Wild and Feb. 7, against the Chicago Blackhawks.

For tickets contact the Phoenix Coyotes ticket office at 480-563-7825.