As I sit and stare in the face of tonight's game 7, it is hard for me to put into words the emtions I am experiencing. Almost a year has passed since the bankruptcy saga began. Did anyone think we'd find ourselves here just one year ago? Could anyone have scripted a better way for this season to play out for us? This team is one of sports greatest stories. A team everyone called the "NHL's orphans", now with home ice advantage in the playoffs and 7 consecutive home sell-outs.
Sleep escaped me last night and as I tossed and turned, my mind started to sort through the events that have transpired over the past year. From May 5th 2009 on, it was a whirlwind of information & activity. Sitting in a courtroom watching the legal minds tearing my beloved team apart was almost more than I could bare. All the while we as fans of this team dealt with endless hatred and bashing in the media and from other fans both near and far. Somehow everyone wanted to put the blame on the fan base. Oh how mis-informed they all were...
Then I find my team coach-less as training camp vastly approaches. When the puck dropped on the preseason, I sat in an empty arena with merely a few hundred fans. The horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach I experienced at the site of each & every empty seat is a feeling I won't ever forget. As the season that was supposed to be a "lame duck" progressed, I saw Jobing.com arena slowly begin to fill up with fans. First with fans of the opposing team. Now with Coyotes fans. Now here we are, with 7 consecutive sold-out home games.
What I concluded from all of this rehashing of events last night is that I can honestly say I have never before been as proud of my team, the Coyotes organization or my fellow fans as I am at this very moment. Today's game 7 is a celebration. We went from a low that no team in the history of sports had experienced before to a record breaking season filled with highlights. So yes, tonight is a celebration. A celebration of proving everyone wrong, a celebration of team work, dedication, "pack mentality". A celebration of hockey in the desert.
Regardless of Game 7's outcome tonight, this season has already been a huge success. Our team proved themselves to be the amazing & talented group of athletes we've always known them to be. They have pushed the "Mighty Red Wings" to a game 7 & beaten them twice this series in the impossible to win in Joe Louis Arena. Those "non-existent" desert hockey fans are filling up the empty seats at Jobing.com Arena that haunted me at the beginning of the season. We've got a smart & business savvy ownership group poised to come in and take this organization to the top, where it belongs.
So enjoy Game 7 tonight Coyotes fans, we've all earned it.