Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home, away, and alternate

In light of the holiday season, I've finally decided just who I want on my next jerseys, one of each flavor.

#41 Mike Smith
Reasons: I love him. Neuvirth might look just like a cat but Smith moves like one.

Beyond that and probably much more importantly, although a newcomer to the team, Mike Smith embodies the very spirit of this franchise. We're expected to fail, plain and simple, destined by critics to end up at the bottom of the pile, and eventually in Winnipeg/Quebec/KC/Portland/Las Vegas.


Ol' Schmitty probably got the worst of such cynicism during the off-season, what with the shoes he's supposed to fill. No one expected anything of him except failure, and he's disappointed them all. He's sitting pretty at fifth for wins in the league, tied with the likes of Lehtonen and Thomas.

I never thought I'd be so happy to have a netminder who clearly isn't starting-goalie material.

# 16 Rusty Klesla

 Reasons: HE IS A WARRIOR. But seriously, this guy deserves way more attention than he gets. No, he is not a superstar offensive-defensemen, and he doesn't get into a lot of fights, and he doesn't have an infamous twitter account. He does manage to keep in perfect position while out on the ice, he does finish his checks and never gets hypnotized puck-watching. He's turned out to be an incredible asset to us as a shutdown defensemen, and makes sure that the opposition barely has enough room to breathe if they want to play in our zone.

As far as I'm concerned, Kles is one of the most reliable guys on the team. He works hard, he does what's expected of him, he is unselfish and yet pounces on any opportunity that comes to him to make a play. 

Definitely Coyotes material, and absolutely worthy of more recognition than he gets.

# 19 Shane Doan

Reasons: Captain, my captain. Shane Doan is the Phoenix Coyotes. Angry Doan is terrifying and entertaining to watch as he human-wreckingballs around the rink. But beyond his on-ice amazingness, Shane Doan might be one of the best human beings on the planet.

There isn't enough to be said about him that hasn't been said a million times over. There are few better examples of leadership, determination, and resiliency than this man. The team respects him, the fans love him, and I would follow him to Hell and back. May he carry us to that Stanley Cup he so deserves.

# 28 Lauri Korpikoski
Reasons: Can we all just agree on how fun this kid is to watch? He is FAST, he makes goals and adorable Christmas card versions of himself.

Mark my words, world, once he improves his stickhandling a bit more, the Korpedo will be tearing through the NHL. I will patiently await my triumph of "I TOLD YOU SO", and for now relish the gems he gives us when he smokes the opposition Wally West style.

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