We watched the first period of last night's playoff hockey game in Chicago between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Blackhawks, and things didn't look good for our local team.
Chicago, which was fighting for its hockey life down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, came out smoking after its stunning overtime comeback win in Glendale last Saturday night.
Yotes' goalie Mike Smith was hit on more times than a hottie in a singles bar, bombarded with shots from all angles during those first 20 minutes of hell.
The Blackhawks had 16 shots on goal compared with Phoenix's two in that first period, yet couldn't put one in and the 0-0 score somehow felt like a Yotes lead.
Lo and behold, when Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his first playoff goal ever with just under seven minutes left in the second period to give the Yotes a 1-0 lead, local fans started (yet again) to hope beyond hope that this night would be special.
Phoenix poured it on in the final period, adding three goals en route to a 4-0 series-ending win--the first time our beleaguered franchise will move on to the second round of the endless Stanley Cup playoffs since moving here nearly a quarter-century ago.
Considering what the Coyotes have been through on and off the ice in recent years, the victory was special.
Next up, the formidable Nashville Predators, a potential championship team that blew out the nationally popular Detroit Red Wings in its first-round matchup.
Odds are that Phoenix won't be able to hang with the Predators enough to win four games and move on to the next round.