PHOENIX - With round one of the NHL Playoffs behind them, the Phoenix Coyotes are home in the Valley again.
They arrived at Cutter Aviation Tuesday afternoon and were greeted with a winner's welcome from fans. "I think it's a big physiological boost to them and to let them know we all appreciate everything they've done and they are going to continue to do it into the second round," said John Steiner.
Fans skipped work and school to stand under the hot sun, just to get a glimpse of their favorite players. But for many it was also about sharing in the celebration, something they've been waiting for since the team moved to Phoenix.
Katharine Barney said, "Come on, look at us! We are standing here on a tarmac, probably in 100 degree weather, in our jerseys. What die hard fan would not do this for their team?"
For many guys on the team, like Coyotes Captain Shane Doan and Goalie Mike Smith, it's the first time they've gone this far in the playoffs. "They've been with us through thick and thin this year. You know most the season they've had so much support for us. We've come off the road and there've been fans here every time," said Smith.
Now the Yotes need fan support in round two.
The Coyotes will have home ice advantage against the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Semi Finals. Game one is expected to be either Friday or Saturday.