Excuse me for a moment while I step out of my comfort zone and try to talk a little hockey. Yes I know, I don't know what I'm talking about blah blah blah. Anyway, I just got done reading this piece by Doug Franz and a thought immediately occured to me:
Shouldn't the team - and their consistently shoddy results - shoulder a great deal of the blame here?
Our local radio host talks about how Wayne Gretzky, a destroyed shoulder, and a goalkeeper who can't handle the playoffs have prevented Doan (who's been with the franchise since it moved here) and the Coyotes from making a deep run in the playoffs. Those are all excuses that frankly do make SOME sense but really not enough to wash over the fact that the franchise has accomplished absolutely nothing in their time in Phoenix.
You know what the easiest way to get fan support is? You win. Unfortunately for the Glendale Dogs, winning hasn't exactly been their modus operandi. In fact, since I love describing just exactly how much things suck when I claim they suck, consume the following:
Since the Coyotes first season in Phoenix (1996-97) they have appeared in the playoffs seven different times. Yet unless they pull off the miracle four-straight against Detroit over the next couple weeks they will have each time been unable to win even one playoff series.
How bad is that you ask? Well during that 96-97 season there were 26 teams in the NHL - just three have failed to win at least a round in the playoffs in the past 14 seasons. The others? The Islanders and Panthers. (Note: The Blue Jackets, Thrashers, and Predators have also gone 0-fer but haven't been around since 1996). That's a tremendous amount of suck. But wait, there's more.
In 1996 the four major professional sports had a grand total of 113 teams, guess how many have failed to win either a playoff series or playoff game (NFL) since that time? Just 15.
Again that doesn't include the expansion teams that came later (it adds only five teams anyway) but it is downright HARD to be not among the 87% of big four sports franchises that haven't pulled this off. For god's sake that list of 15 doesn't include the Clippers, Cubs, or Raiders. It probably also warrants mentioning that of the 15 teams, five are in the NFL where only six teams make the playoffs in each conference, and six are from MLB where its just four teams to a league.
Blame Gretzky and shoulder injuries all you want but it's difficult to be that bad for that long. Winning a round or a game isn't even considered a "deep" run, it's the bare minimum for decent success as a franchise - and the Coyotes have consistently been unable to do it.
I refuse to believe that the city of Phoenix (or Glendale for that matter) - a notorious front running community - wouldn't have thrown its support behind the Coyotes if they'd even shown a hint of a pulse from a competitive standpoint. If the Coyotes are looking for the main reason hockey hasn't worked in the Valley they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Feel free to hammer away, your comments will have about as much impact as the Coyotes in Arizona.