The Arizona Coyotes showed their resilience and evolving maturity
What a euphoric feeling to realize that those “undeserving” desert-dwelling Arizona Coyotes are headed for Round 1 of the playoffs! Still on Cloud 9, ‘Yotes fans now know that the Desert Dogs will be playing the highly-talented Colorado Avalanche in the best-of-seven series that begins next week. At this point, though, do we really care who the Coyotes face?
It is indeed satisfying to know that the Coyotes, under new ownership and currently without a permanent general manager, were able to show the rest of the NHL that they are good enough to represent the organization and its fans in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The combination of veterans with valuable post-season experience keeping their teammates calm and the hustle and grit of the younger players served the Coyotes well against the Nashville Predators.
The Arizona Coyotes got the job done in the Stanley Cup playoffs
Regardless of what happened on the remainder of the ice, the territory patrolled by Goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper was protected remarkably and consistently well.
The blue paint was mostly off-limits to the Preds, even as that offensive juggernaut pounded the crease with shots. Kuemper’s focus and composure under fire are simply amazing, and his performance is without a doubt the reason the Desert Dogs are advancing to the next round.
The routinely slow starts exhibited by those pesky skaters in front of “Kuemps” result in ‘Yotes’ fans popping handfuls of antacids and peeking through their fingers from the get-go.
It seemed like the Predators had seven skaters on the ice at all times, and without realizing it, many fans were clenching their teeth and praying to the deity of their choice that the Coyotes would find their way out of their “D” zone and would “discover” the goal at the other end of the ice.
Well, no problem Coyotes’ faithful, as that’s ancient history and the boys now focus on a team from Colorado. The Avalanche poses a new challenge for the Arizona Coyotes, but the ‘Yotes aren’t pushovers (right Nashville?) and Colorado will have to be prepared as well. The Coyotes don’t have the marquee talent that the Avs do, and that’s fine. The games have to be played on the ice, not on a stat sheet.
Regardless of the outcome of the series with the Colorado Avalanche, Coyotes’ fans are immensely proud of their hometown boys, and rightfully so. In many respects, the Coyotes are already winners and have turned a significant corner. Good luck, and give ’em hell boys. Let’s go Coyotes!