Coyotes, Foreigners, Journeys, and Glowing Vampires

As of today, 4/6/10, the Coyotes are hanging on to a slim hope for the top spot in the Western Conference. They trail San Jose by five points with three games to play. San Jose, for their part, plays today at Calgary (go Flames! 🙂 🙂 :). The Coyotes can win the top spot if San Jose loses their last three games in regulation to Calgary, at home against Vancouver (go Canucks!) and at home against the Coyotes, while the ‘Yotes must run the table on their last three (vs. Nashville, @LA Kings, @San Jose). That would put the ‘Yotes at 108 points and San Jose at 107.

Assuming that the Coyotes get all six possible points, if San Jose gets a win (two points) in any of those games, or any two OT losses (also two points total), the Sharks win the Conference title. Getting only one OT loss ties the teams at 108 points but still gives the Coyotes the Conference title, as the ‘Yotes would have a 51-25-6 record as opposed to a 48-22-12 record for the Sharks. Basically, that 2-1 loss to Calgary and that shootout loss to Nashville are coming back to haunt the Coyotes – that’s a three point swing that could have had the ‘Yotes at 105 points and pretty much having the Sharks/Coyotes game at the end of the season the deciding game for the Western Conference.

Instead, the Coyotes have a long shot at winning the #1 seed – unlike the NBA, the NHL still has the stupid rule in effect where the division winners are the top 3 seeds regardless of the points earned. The NHL needs to take a page out of the NBA’s playoff book and just guarantee that the division winners get first-round home ice at minimum while the next best points team gets into the top 4. If that were the case, the Coyotes would be right now at the #3 seed with the possibility of a #2 seed.


Lately on my CD player – Foreigner’s latest album Can’t Slow Down. The title track is such an awesome rocker that you hear it in your head for hours afterward. And there’s an awesome review of the album at by Jeff Giles, who totally nails it.

Also sharing time in the CD player is Journey’s Revelation which, yes, was released in 2008. New lead singer Arnel Pineda’s vocals are eeriely reminiscent of Steve Perry but without the self-absorbtion. Now, I had seen Journey live during the Arrival tour with Steve Augeri on leads, but hot damn Pineda does an even better job. If only more bands would look to YouTube for their lead singers!


I’m now on volume 7 of the Vampire Hunter D novels – the original written novels, not the manga that’s being produced lately. All you Stephanie Meyer fans need to drop your teen angsty glowing vampire fantasies and read a real series. (The only real “Twilight” anyway was the song by ELO.)

No seriously, the Vampire Hunter D series of novels blows away anything that Meyer could possibly come up with. The setting is fantastic, the characters are superb, the writing top notch, and you can’t help but wonder at D’s continued struggle with his destiny and what really happened to the Nobility. The two movies aren’t doing it justice – there needs to be a 52 episode TV series with the people that did the soundtrack for Witch Hunter Robin to do the music, and that would barely scratch the surface of what this series is about.

Stupid FSAZ

So they’re not showing the 2pm Coyotes game because the Tempe Normal College men’s basketball team is playing at 4:30 Arizona time.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Tempe Normal is still not relevant outside of Maricopa County, but the Coyotes are relevant on the West Coast – ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY’RE PLAYING AT ANAHEIM, AND ESPECIALLY SINCE THE COYOTES ARE ACTUALLY A GOOD TEAM THIS YEAR.

Stupid FSAZ, and people wonder why FSAZ gets a bad rep for broadcasting – this is why.

A Haberdashery of Notes

Yes, I know what a haberdashery is. I just wanted an excuse for a new usage of it.

The Phoenix Coyotes are staying put – at least for the upcoming 2009-10 season. After that, however, who knows. The biggest rumor circulating is that potential purchaser Jerry Reisendorf would buy the NHL franchise and then apply to move it to Las Vegas for the 2011-12 season. Sigh – again, the Coyotes’ PR department has stated the team has lost money every year since moving to the Valley in 1996. You know what? Put a winning team on the ice and you’ll get fans in droves. And if you wouldn’t isolate the team in BFW Glendale, you would’ve had more fans to begin with.

The Suns are exploring options for trading Shaquille O’Neal to Cleveland for basically nobody (really, Rasheed Wallace’s contract, which would be bought out, and Sasha Pavlovic’s contract, which would also be bought out). Here’s my concern – the Suns in the three games under Alvin Gentry with Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and O’Neal managed to completely blow out opponents, scoring close to 140 ppg. Everyone knew that the Suns were an injury away from playoff contention, and O’Neal would have been unstoppable in the playoffs against the Lakers. Why would the Suns trade O’Neal at this point when they would have a full season under Gentry, who has shown he is able to combine not only the historic run-n-gun that Nash and Stoudemire prefer, but also the slow-em-down, post-up that O’Neal prefers. If purely from a financial standpoint, I think an O’Neal trade is prudent.

For the UA Wildcats, there are still reports out there that Lamont “Momo” Jones is still considering Arizona after being released from his LOI at USC. Other reports also have Florida and Memphis in the mix for Jones’ services. While Jones is a gifted athlete, I question why his presence is necessary on the Wildcats’ squad, now that Nic Wise has confirmed his return for his senior season and the fact that there are possibly three 4-star quality PG’s available in the class of 2010 (Naadir Tharpe, Ray McCallum, and Gary Franklin), making Jones quite expendable. Jones’ best bet, ironically, would be to suit up for Josh Pastner at Memphis, where he would get some immediate playing time, if that’s what he’s after – but if he’s really after competition and wants to learn under Wise and Miller, then Arizona is the place to be.

Also, the University of Maryland announced that they are no longer pursuing Lance Stephenson for their men’s basketball team. Some pundits believe (including yours truly) that this is because Greivis Vazquez pulled out of the NBA Draft to return to Maryland. Thus, Stephenson’s choices have been narrowed now to Arizona, Memphis and Florida. However, until the court case surrounding Stephenson is resolved at the end of June, Arizona will not be officially or directly recruiting him. (And if it turns out Stephenson plea bargins a guilty response or if he’s found guilty, Arizona will be making an official “he’s no longer being pursued” announcement almost immediately afterward – I would expect that the Media Relations department at the UA already has this announcement written…)

Finally, and unfortunately, the proposed Pac-10 schedule change (8 conference games instead of 9) failed so, the Pac-10 will be tightening their collective belts and hoping that a fifth BCS bowl game (not counting the National Championship) is in the future after this next four-year TV block. I have to say that the ADs who voted against this proposal got it completely wrong. Of course, the ones that voted against it were the ones that had no hope for BCS games to begin with (Washington State, Oregon State, etc), being more concerned with getting guaranteed crowds at their games due to Pac-10 play. Maybe if these teams would schedule teams that are “close” to their locations, they wouldn’t have these issues (read: Boise State, Idaho, Fresno State, San Jose State, etc) because those teams would surely draw fans with them. Or in the case of certain “nationally recognized teams”, they would have fans already there (read: BYU).

Quick NASCAR one-shot

I’m not a NASCAR fan – never have been, never will be. There’s just something wrong with a “sport” that requires one to drive in a circle 300+ times. Plus, it’s a “sport” that depends solely on a machine (a car). No machine, no participation. So, basically, it’s a “sport” that you can’t grow up playing or even learn how to play until you’re much, much older.

Hence, I don’t consider it a real sport, and I don’t support it, attend any events, watch it on TV, anything of the sort.

So, I was reading a post on azcentral about the Coyotes possibly leaving the Valley, and one of the responders caught my eye in his response to the author of the original article (who, admittedly, is a tool and should stick to editing and not writing – the normal Coyotes beat writer has been mysteriously absent since 5/20…):

“I get it you dont like hockey because its to fast of a sport.. your brain cant function quick enough to locate a puck you need a big car with lots of paint and about 100 decal logos on it going around in a left turn circle for hours to get excited right..” – HOCKEYISPHX

Now that, even poorly worded/written, is still funny.

The Real Problem with the Phoenix Coyotes?

The arena is in Glendale, which is an hour to an hour and a half across town from the majority of the hockey fans in the Valley.

“What? Are you crazy?” you may be thinking… well, ponder this – most hockey fans (50% + 1) here in the Valley are transplants from out of state. And the majority of THOSE happen to spend their winters in the East Valley (Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, and Apache Junction).

So, the Coyotes might be wondering why their attendance is the 3rd worst in the NHL – it’s because the FRICKING ARENA IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN. Are you seriously believing that the snowbirds are going to drive across town during RUSH HOUR (because, you know, games start at 7pm) to attend a game? You DO realise that snowbirds can’t get their vehicles above 55mph to begin with – can you imagine 6,000 hockey fans in a mass exodus from the East to the West Valley all driving 55, all during rush hour? The traffic grid would come to a complete standstill. No, if the NHL did ANY demographic studies prior to the building of the arena, they would have recognized this.

Of course, half the blame also goes to the City of Mesa, who could have bid for (and probably won) the arena to be built at the Riverview area (Dobson and Loop 202) and could have benefited from not just the NHL games but all the concerts and other goings-on at the arena as well. But NOOOO, Mesa wanted the whole enchilada – they wanted the Cardinals stadium instead and they had no room for it.

What does Mesa end up with? A huge shopping center anchored by an outdoorsmen’s shop and a movie theater. If they had the arena, they could’ve built that stuff around it anyway.

Stupid, stupid Mesa City Council.

Stupid, stupid NHL.