“An electric atmosphere”

“An electric atmosphere”


TEMPE, Arizona — After Friday night's inaugural game at Mullett Arena, it will be Alexis Lafrenière and the New York Rangers' turn to visit the new home of the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.  

If the smallness of the amphitheater leaves many perplexed, the head coach of the Coyotes, André Tourigny, greatly appreciates the energy present in the arena. < /p>

“I led in amphitheaters with 5,000 people where there was a lot more energy than in some amphitheaters with 20,000 people, and that was the case tonight [Friday], estimated Tourigny, after the defeat of 3 2 in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets. I'm happy with the energy there was in the building, honestly. There are many arenas across the National League where there is less atmosphere than what we feel here. We wanted an electric atmosphere and we got it.” 

Tourigny doesn't have to look far to list an arena worthy of the National Hockey League where, he says, the atmosphere is less interesting than at Mullett Arena. This was the case of the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, which served as the home of the Coyotes until last year. 

“It does not compare with what we had in Glendale , where there was not much atmosphere, agreed the Quebec coach. Now we feel the supporters pushing with us. It's fun.” 

Doan, father and son

If a duel between the Coyotes and the Jets was nothing too exciting at first glance, we have to admit that the crowd of 5,000 spectators, very close to the action, set the place on fire. After the player presentations, the spectators applauded the presence of former player Shane Doan and his son Josh, captain of the Arizona State University (ASU) Sun Devils, who made the ceremonial face-off. 

Beyond the entertainment punctuated by percussion, the crowd jumped at once when the first goal of a National Hockey League club at Mullett Arena was scored by a Coyotes player, Christian Fischer, at halfway through the initial period. Fischer also scored the home side's other goal. 

“On a positive note, I enjoyed the energy of the crowd, it's a fun arena to play in” , also boasted Fischer, disappointed with the setback despite the brilliance of goaltender Karel Vejmelka, who made 32 saves against the Jets. 

A difficult schedule for the Coyotes

For the rest, the Arizona club turns to the Rangers, then two more games will follow at Mullett Arena next week, against the Florida Panthers and the Dallas Stars. The Coyotes, who had played their first six games of the season on the road, will return to the road for an interminable 14-game series. 

“With our seven exhibition games on the road, that still made 27 of the first 31 games on the road, Tourigny said. But no matter how many games I have on the road in the next month, it doesn't change what I have to do on a daily basis.”