For the first time in their history as a professional hockey franchise, no matter the location, the Coyotes have won their division. By winning their last five games, the Coyotes have won their division. They didn’t back into the playoffs. They won their division. Exactly as Dave Tippett said they would in training camp. This team has climbed up and reached the first level. Getting into the postseason. Mission Not Yet Accomplished.
Winning their last five, going 7-2-1 in the last ten. Making the run when it mattered the most. Points in October count just as much as those in April. Well, the Coyotes got points in every month, then turned it on full blast in February. 11-0-1 in the month. Making the move from 13th place in the west to the third. Then bouncing around anywhere from that spot to 10th. When it matters the most, at the end of the regular season, there are the boys. In 3rd.
As they came off the ice at the XCEL Energy Center, there were smiles and high fives. No one going crazy. No one popping champagne or Molsons. We are not finished. Our goals have not been reached. Behind the visiting team bench, a couple in Doan jerseys. Shane skated over, reached up, and handed over his Easton Stealth RS stick. To his fans, the smiles on their faces and the jumping for excitement was priceless. Shane could have taken the stick with him, a reminder of the title. He chose to thank a couple of Coyote fans, his fans. They now have a piece of Shane. Get a stick case (Ultra mount displays), put it up on the wall.
This is not the time to get petty and go after all those hockey experts who counted out the Coyotes. Who thought they wouldn’t be in Phoenix, let alone the playoffs. Plenty of time to kick them while they are down. Tonight, we celebrate our team. We cherish this team, hold it close to our hearts. They play for us, we joined the pack, and we are All In.