There's no messing about in the third period -- all the stops are pulled out. "Steps." "Kalinka." Ruiz attaches a healthy three-howl "Charge!" to a stealthy "Zorba the Greek." No "Welcome to the Jungle," but its nearest equivalent -- "Been Caught Stealing" with the dog barks already built in -- comes off the bench and registers a 9.5 on the noise meter. Finally, people are standing. Okay, some of them are leaving to beat the parking exodus, but the rest of them are genuinely standing. And howling. And clapping, acquiescing to every cue. Ruiz shoots them back "You're Unbelievable." And they are. It's their enthusiasm that reinvigorates the Coyotes, who went into this game 0-6-2 against Eastern Conference teams. The Coyotes score back-to-back plays of "Werewolves of London," winning this game 3 to 1.
And Ruiz's subtle musical prodding provided some inspiration.
But instead of taking bows, she's smiling to herself and already unplugging the patch cords to her keyboard to the strains of "Celebration." She'll be back to do it again Saturday night. You probably won't even think to look for her, but you won't be able to ignore her, either.
Instead, you can turn your attention to the Coyotes, the balloons, the Zambonis and Warren Zevon, who'll be on hand to sing the national anthem. It's . . . uh, all right. But it's no "Werewolves of London."