In a season dominated by headlines regarding attendance issues and bankruptcy hearings, what the Phoenix Coyotes are doing on the ice has often gone unnoticed. All of that aside, the team itself is pretty damn good.
We've been critical of the support the Coyotes have received from the team's shallow fan-base and admittedly ignored a lot of the good things the team has done on the ice. But it's a new day, and whether people go to the games or not, the Coyotes are a legit team and a playoff contender.
The Coyotes are currently 33-18-5 and have won their last four games, putting them past the Los Angeles Kings for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Not bad for a team playing its home games in a relatively empty building.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan this week was named the NHL's First Star of the Week -- a recognition of the league's top player during that seven-day stretch. The last time a member of the Coyotes took the top spot was October 19, when goalie Ilya Bryzgalov got the honor.
Doan led the NHL with nine points this week -- three goals and six assists.
On Sunday, Doan had a goal and an assist in the Coyotes 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. That's not the big news, though. With Sunday's win, the Coyotes won their 33rd game and did it in the 56th game of the season. That many wins this early in the season is the fastest the team has reached 33 victories in the franchise's 30-year history.
If this season isn't getting exciting enough to put a few more butts in the seats, keep this in mind: they fight.