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Another broke and in debt Municipality, CA • United States • 45 Years Old • Male
On October 8, 2007, I wrote that the Phoenix Coyotes would win the Pacific Division. The blog is linked below. I really didn't believe it at the time - I wrote it more as a knock against the perennial favorite Sharks, Stars and Ducks. All three of those teams were mired in an early season of mediocrity and it was frustrating to watch these three lose to the Blackhawks, Isles, and Kings on a regular basis. I was looking for a team to take the lead and enforce some dominance on the rest of the Division.

http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...416&post_id=3162

Now it is a new season and the Phoenix Coyotes have a line-up of more familiar faces as they at least raised eyebrows last season. Many hockey pundits clamor about the youth of the Edmonton Oilers and how they are expected to really excel this season. While true, I like this young Coyote group even more. I believe the Coyotes have better young players and more of them than any team in the NHL - with the potential to play now. I do not mean to diminish the other young talent pools around the NHL, but rather accentuate the fact that the Coyotes organization, due to a lackluster history, is a better setting for the young players to accel and get an opportunity to play. Many of the other NHL clubs have depth charts that are heavy on experience and the young talent does not have the open opportunity to crack the lineup or play regularly. In addition, there are those in the NHL who would play a veteran for "safe" reasons versus playing a rookie who may may a few mistakes, but will net you better results in the long run. Phoenix has chosen to play the rookies and allow them to make their mistakes in hopes of higher returns later. "Later" is coming quickly and if the Phoenix Coyotes win the Pacific Division, nobody should be surprised.

If you take a look at the pre season depth chart linked below and then factor in newcomers Viktor Tikhonov, Kevin Porter, Chad Kolarik, Brett MacLean, Jonas Ahnelov, Colin Long, and Mathieu Brodeur as potential NHLers and you have an exciting team.

http://coyotes.nhl.com/te...hartPage&dcid=76

Say what you want, but Mr. Gretzky has assembled a potential powerhouse for the next several years and they may just be the class of the West as early as this 2008-2009 season.
Filed Under:   Pacific Division   Coyotes   Oilers  
September 19, 2008 2:33 PM ET | Delete
So which of the three usual top finishers will finish 4th? I think the Yotes are a talented bunch, but I think they are poorly managed, and coached. You'd have to go back to Jim Schoenfeld to find a decent Phoenix coach, and he doomed himself by "promising to make the playoffs or he'd quit"....
September 19, 2008 4:19 PM ET | Delete
I totally agree! I relocated here earlier in the spring and have been keeping tabs on them. They were beginning to get exciting last year (started watching them when I knew I was moving here) and with the addition of a true #1 center and more talented youth they could be explosive this year. They do have some holes to fill on defensive and that will end up determining, IMO, how good they get this year.
September 19, 2008 6:47 PM ET | Delete
So the cyotes are gonna finnish ahead of L.A and........not likely. top 4 is more likely. so lets just say they'll finish top 4 instead of top bottom 2. that sounds accurate, and nice for everyone who is sensitive.
September 19, 2008 10:13 PM ET | Delete
i just aint buyin it yet
September 20, 2008 2:10 AM ET | Delete
Itlan - one of the Ducks, Sharks, or Stars will lose out this season and find themselves at #4. Not sure which one. All 3 are lead by quality veteran players and all 3 have excellent goaltending. I think Dallas has under-rated (at least as of last year) defense and I think the Sharks have a very suspect defense. I think the Ducks have to prove they can score and both Dallas and SJ can light the lamp enough to win. It will be a very close race. I think PHO has as good a chance to win the entire Div as any of the other 3. It is no longer a talent issue with the Coyotes. Now we will see if he Great One can be a great coach.
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