GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A division title. Two playoff series wins and a trip to the Western Conference Finals. The undivided attention of a sports-mad region -- and a bandwagon filled with new fans that have led to a new attitude.
The spring of 2012 could be the beginning of a new chapter in Phoenix Coyotes hockey. Or it could be a one-year wonder.
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney lamented that he team was a little late getting started against the Los Angeles Kings in the conference final, and dropping the first two games at home dug a hole Phoenix couldn't emerge from. But one year after being swept in the first round by Detroit amid constant rumors the franchise was headed back to Winnipeg, the transformation was dramatic.
"We're all a little blue. We feel Game 4 and Game 5 we showed who we are and how we got into the semifinals," Maloney said. "It was a phenomenal year. Everyone stuck to what we do and we didn't spent a lot of time worrying about who owned us.