Just like all Coyotes fans, I’m hurting that the team’s season is over. Losing Game 5 in overtime to the Kings in the West Final really stings. But the future is really bright for this franchise, it starts with Coach Dave Tippett. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any coach maximize effort and talent and get the results he does. When he came aboard he saved the franchise. Plus, The young and veteran players this team has gives the franchise a lot to look forward to.
It starts with Goaltender Mike Smith. He’s only 30 years old and has a lot of great hockey ahead of him. He was easily the team’s MVP and willed them to the teams’ first Pacific Division Title. On the Blue Line, Defensemen Keith Yandle is a two-time All-Star and Oliver Ekmon- Larsson has the potential to be one of the game’s best.
Offensively, at only 25, Center Martin Hanzal might be the unsung hero of the team. He does all the dirty work, like defending the opposing team’s best offensive player. He’s a big body that gets in front of Goalies that you have to have. Forward Mikkel Boedker is only 22 and is getting better with each game. He was great down the stretch and could blossom into a 30 goal scorer.
The team has a great mix of veterans like Forwards Antoine Vermette and Radim Vrbata and Defensemen Rostislav Klesla that are in their prime and playing top flight hockey. The heartbeat of the team is Captain Shane Doan, no one cares more about this team than he does. I was in the locker room after the Elimination loss to the Kings and I felt so bad for Doaner. His rant against the poor officiating in Game 5 was justified. It was awful.
He’s a great leader and person and the organization needs to re-sign him, that is priority number one. So keep the faith Coyotes fans, because the team is no longer a one year playoff wonder. They have a solid foundation for years to come.