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Mike Smith was happy to quiet the crowd when Phoenix beat Vancouver last night

Feb 29, 2012, 2:43 PM EDT

The Coyotes left thousands and thousands of hockey fans bitterly disappointed when they defeated the Canucks last night at Arena.

Wait, what?

Oh right, it’s Phoenix.

Here’s what it looked like when Vancouver’s Alex Elder opened the scoring:

Phoenix was able to battle back and win 2-1 in a shootout, extending its undefeated-in-regulation streak to 11 games.

“It was nice,” Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith said, as per “It was obviously a passionate group and I respect that, but it was nice to get the two points and kind of quiet the building a little bit.”

Bit sad when you have to win a home game to quiet the crowd, but it was probably nice to play in front of a packed house. Phoenix’s average attendance is just 12,108, dead last in the NHL. Last night there were 16,691 in the seats.

“I think we’ve seen games like that before, when there’s fans from the other team there, I think it riles up our fans and their fans are going,” said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. “It leads to a great atmosphere in the building.”

  1. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Dead last in attendance? But Gary swore the NHL would be successfull in Phoenix!!! What happened?!?

    Imagine what attendance would be like if thousands of Canadians didn’t own winter vacation homes in Phoenix

  2. tmoore4075 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    And this team was what 11-0-1 in February and that’s the crowd? Wow.

  3. koyoteken - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    But it’s been this way since day 1. I maintain the biggest mistake this franchise commited was building an arena on the west side of town….it ended up losing a LOT of the fans from the east valley who can’t/won’t put up with the traffic to travel an hour plus out to Glendale to see weekday games. They had a great deal going with the proposed Los Arcos arena in Scottsdale but the right-wing, libertarian douche-bags that infest Arizona fought tooth and nail to scuttle that. That arena would have been able to fill the house a lot more since it was more or less centrally located and would have enabled the fans who supported the Yotes at America West Arena would have been able to attend games. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out the real reason the Coyotes changed their signature green color scheme a few years ago to the current red “dog” look was to combat the fact that whenever they played Detroit the place was filled with red. Now, at least, it kinda looks like it “could” be a home game when Detroit is in town. Having attended games the last few years in Glendale, I can attest that there is ALWAYS more visiting fans in attendance that Coyote supporters. Sad, but true. Hate to see them go, but it looks inevitable. Then, law suits galore dealing with that big, empty arena. (which, by the way, is AWESOME for veiwing hockey).

  4. blomfeld - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:15 AM


    the way this is now shaking down, I’ve got a “serious” feeling that we LA Kings are going to be handed the task of eliminating the Canucks next month in the first round ? … there’s no doubt we’ll be able to “take care of business” promptly, but I just don’t like this … I’d really prefer it if some other team would have to do “that” which will be done …

    • bigtganks - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:16 AM

      It’s impossible to win a playoff game when you score zero goals.

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