Can hockey survive in Arizona?
The Phoenix Coyotes meet the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of the Western Conference semi-finals tonight. The Coyotes are up 2-0 in the best of seven games series. Dennis Lambert was joined by Todd Walsh, hockey analyst for Fox Sports Arizona, to discuss Valley hockey.
--Since the Coyotes moved to the Valley 16 years ago, the big question has been, can hockey survive in the desert? Has attendance in the playoffs answered that question?
--We’ve gone through goalies named Habibulin, Boucher, Cujo, Bryzgalov, and others only to find we needed a goalie named Smith? Smith, really?
--This is the third year in a row the team has been in the NHL playoffs but it’s the first time they’ve ever been in round two. What’s been the difference with this team?
--A lot of teams have won the Stanley Cup with a hot goalie. Phoenix has one. Do they have a chance at the Cup?
--When you’re on the road with the Coyotes, I know you’re asked all the time about the ownership situation and whether the team will be here next year. What do you tell people?
--How confident are you? Where are the negotiations?
--Are hockey loyalties the toughest to break in professional sports? The Red Wings make it look like they’re at home when they’re here. That doesn’t happen with the Tigers, or Lions. Why?
--What’s something most people wouldn’t know about the Phoenix Coyotes that maybe we should know?
--What could General Manager Don Maloney do if he had real money at his disposal? Would this new ownership group bring that to the table?
Todd Walsh is a hockey analyst with Fox Sports Arizona. You can see tonight’s game on NBC Sports (check your television provider for exact channel) and reach Todd on Twitter at @WalshTodd.
EDITOR'S NOTE (5/2/2012): An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the broadcast information for the game. The game will be shown on NBC Sports.