This is not about ownership…only in a peripheral sense in the stability it affords the team. No, this is the rambling of a neophyte, still new to the game. I love the Coyotes. We all love the Coyotes. They are OUR team come hell or high water. Opening night wasn’t for the owners or the fans. It was for the team. Shane Doan’s face was a study in pure joy. That night was their night to win and everyone knew it. That night the team was magical. They played as a unit. They played as if they were one body. We all know that our brain sends signals to various parts of our body and we act and react without thinking about how it happens. That was the play of the Coyotes on opening night of the season.

We have seen and reveled in other magical moments. The team, as do we, remembers each and every one of them. It is the Holy Grail that they seek. So what’s missing these days? Two things. With ownership uncertainty the team viewed itself as the constant scrappy underdog, having to prove that they could succeed no matter what the circumstances. That mindset has disappeared…pouf! In an instant a four year identity was gone and there’s a void still unfilled. The “Hungrier than Ever” slogan is worthy but it is a continuation of a team image that is no longer descriptive. It’s a New Day and a New Team. They need to believe that they are winners and no longer the proverbial underdogs.

The other element is consistency. These men are professional athletes, paid to know and to understand the demands of their position on the team. They must strive to execute their positions flawlessly – no easy task. They must learn to become a well oiled machine and no longer play as individuals. It’s passing the puck and instinctively knowing that your team member will be in the right place at the right time to take it and to shoot. It’s the development of confidence and trust in one’s teammates. When that occurs, it’s magical. The team is not there yet. They lose a couple of games and all of a sudden their anger and the will to win kicks in. Then they are magical once again. These bursts of electricity and will to win demonstrate that the capability is there but not consistently.

The Coyotes are a team of immeasurable potential. All of the right ingredients are there. When you make a cake you need the right ingredients in the correct proportions. Too much flour and the cake is dry. Too much liquid and the cake is runny. Mixing the ingredients too quickly will produce a brick. Mixing the ingredients with enough time and it becomes a cake that magically melts in your mouth. The Coyotes cake has the right ingredients in the correct proportions. It needs to be mixed thoroughly to create its magic.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

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