Aaaooooooooouuuuuuuu! The Phoenix Coyotes may have been the 3rd seed in the West, but they've always been the NHL's underdog. Now that the they've trudged their way to their first Western Conference Finals, I'm really excited to see how their success on the ice will affect Glendale, Arizona off the ice. For a franchise that's had tremendous financial problems and ownership issues, it's always been hard to fit hockey into a state that lives and breathes golf, baseball, football and arid heat.

 But alas, the call of the wild is in full effect. The Coyotes are howling at the top of their lungs and this could be the deal maker. Former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison has struck a tentative deal with the NHL to purchase the team and yes, keep them in Glendale - the NHL's mission all along. Despite a regular season league-low attendance hovering at less than 13,000 a game, the Coyotes have sold out every playoff game so far, a sign the hype is white hot, as they represent the white out.

The best part about Phoenix's rise is the way the Coyotes have been playing - ugly. And in hockey, ugly can be  a beautiful way to win over some casual fans. According to goalie Mike Smith, it's Coyote Ugly, so I'm guessing Captain Shane Doan is long time bartender Tyra Banks? In the first round the series went to six games against the Hawks, with five of them going to overtime mainly in part to Phoenix's inability to shut the door with three minutes remaining. With fans heartstrings pulled to the breaking point, the only game to end in regulation was the convincing 4-0 boot the Coyotes gave the Blackhawks in Chicago, to give Doan (the original Coyote) his first playoff series win in 15 years. About 400 fans showed up at Sky Harbor Airport to welcome them back, a gut-wrenching scene for softies everywhere, myself included.

Now that the Yotes have cleaned out the hard pressed Predators in an unlikely five games, I'm praying the city goes into a movie-like  trance where everyone jumps on the main street bandwagon and stays on tooting their horns and howling at the moon. You would think with over 100-degree temperatures sitting in an ice box would be the obvious way to go. But if they're willing to cook in the baseball diamond that is Chase Field, home of the 2001 World Series champions, maybe, just maybe they'll be willing to sit in an air-conditioned room with the 2012 Stanley Cup winners.


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