Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette
has more than 147,000 followers on Twitter so he’s used to getting chirped online on a daily basis about his off-ice escapades, his playing time and a wide variety of other topics.
Lately, @BizNasty2point0, has been getting plenty of chirps from fans of the Winnipeg Jets regarding Saturday’s game between Phoenix and Winnipeg at Jobing.com Arena.
“I’ve been getting not so much ‘hate tweets’ but tweets from excited Jets fans who want to come in and show us who is boss,” Bissonnette said after Friday’s practice. “It should be a pretty emotional game and I think it’s going to be the start of a very fun rivalry.”
The dynamic between the Coyotes and Jets is a complicated one. The Jets, of course, left Winnipeg in 1996 and moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes. At the end of last season, there was widespread speculation that the Coyotes would move back to Winnipeg and again become the Jets. That never happened, and the Jets, of course, were eventually reborn when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg after 11 years.
Long story short, there’s some bad blood between the fans of the Coyotes and the new Jets, which is noteworthy because the teams haven’t even played a game against each other yet. Nevertheless, Bissonnette can sense the tension surrounding this game in the cyber world.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s a live soap opera about to play out tomorrow… We know the way it’s going to be and we’re expecting a great crowd. And I know there’s going to be quite a few Jets fans here because I’ve been getting tweets about it.”
Bissonnette said he expects the rivalry to develop even further when the Coyotes play at Winnipeg on Dec. 1.
Saturday’s game is the home opener for the 2011-12 Coyotes. Bissonnette said he and his teammates are eager to get back on home ice after last season’s exit from the playoffs.
“We’re very excited,” Bissonnette said. “We have a little bitter taste in our mouth after getting knocked out (of the playoffs) in our own building. We just need to play with controlled emotion and play our game. We went into Nashville (on Thursday) and they were all hyped up for their home opener and we saw how that went. I think we should use that as a learning experience and run from there.”EDITOR'S NOTE:
Contact Dave Vest at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @davest4yotes.