The 2013 season for the Phoenix Coyotes was full of highs, and definitely some lows as well. With new ownership in the mix for at least the next five seasons, the Coyotes, and their fans, for the first time in over four years, did not have to worry about what happens after the season, and who to get in free agency or trades before the trade deadline. There were no more worries of having to go to Glendale City Council meetings, or referendums having to be filled out. Finally the organization and its fans had what it deserved.
Opening Night Hat Trick
Opening night was different of sorts for the Coyotes and their loyal fans. It was a night that brought a “New Era” to the valley of the sun, a night where the fans could cheer for a team that was “Here to Stay”, and finally a chance to meet the new ownership group, Ice Arizona. The night was capped off in front of a sold out Jobing.com Arena crowd, and a hat trick by Radim Vrbata, giving the Coyotes a win against a very talented New York Rangers team
Smith Scores,Yandle Snubbed
It’s not every night you see a goalie score a goal in an NHL game. On October 19, Mike Smith scored an empty net goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock, against the Detroit Red Wings, in front of yet another sold out crowd
A night before the team USA hockey roster was announced, Coyotes defenseman, Keith Yandle was out to prove that he deserved a spot on the team. With 6.5 seconds left in overtime against Edmonton, Yandle scored, sending the home crowd home on New Years Eve, with something to cheer about. The next day, Yandle would find out that he did not make the cut on the 2014 USA Hockey roster.
Captain is Sick, Heartbreaker in Buffalo
Captain Coyote, Shane Doan gets Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: In December, as Phoenix was on a three game, Western Canada road trip, Doan began to feel very weak, and went to see a Vancouver Canucks team doctor, where he later was diagnosed with symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Doan missed a whole month, and the Coyotes would suffer.
On December 23, the Coyotes would travel to Buffalo to face off against the worst team in the league, the Sabres. After leading through most of the game, hanging on by a score of 1-0 late in the third period, the game would go into overtime tied at 1-1. With very little time remaining in the overtime period, Mark Pysyk (Buffalo) shot the puck, which was deflected into the air, and landed right in the back of Coyotes goalie, Mike Smith’s pants. No one knew where the puck was, including Smith, when low and behold, the puck drops out of his pants and the puck crosses the crease. Final score 2-1 Buffalo, in what is now known as the “Butt Goal”. Phoenix would later lose the season series to Buffalo 2-0.
After a season high, seven game losing streak, before finally winning in the season finale, the Coyotes would narrowly miss the playoffs, by two points. Coyotes fans were not able to taste the whiteout for the second season in a row.
While the Coyotes, and their fans will spend their offseason wondering what could have been, rumors have it that some of the veteran leaders in the locker room could be missing next season, i.e. Derrick Morris. It will be an interesting offseason for sure, as the Coyotes look to improve on a positive, but disappointing 2013-2014 season.