The Arizona Coyotes are one of the most historically dog shit franchises in all of professional sports. Not to be a dick about it or anything, but the facts are facts. There has only been one season in their entire existence that they've won a playoff series. They've been around since the 1996-97 season, and have either failed to make the playoffs or lost in the first round in 25 of those seasons.
But America loves an underdog. And we are obsessed with lovable losers in sports. All we ask is that they at least be entertaining in some way or another. And if last night was any indication, the Arizona Coyotes have finally found a way to break out of their decades of irrelevancy. You want to put asses in the seats? Give the people what they want, and drop the gloves.
First up we have Liam O'Brien dropping the mitts with Nick Foligno.
He's got the hair, he's got the beard, he's got the entire look of a deranged lunatic on the ice. He ended up taking the L here, and there aren't too many guys in the league who wouldn't end up on their ass after fighting Nick Foligno. But Liam O'Brien seems like a character that could really catch on as a fan favorite in the desert. This is a certified hockey guy.
And a little bit later in the night, O'Brien proved he can still contribute while keeping his gloves on after he started this rush that ended with a goal from Jack McBain.
So now Liam O'Brien has his fight, and he has an assist. All that sick puppy needs to do at this point is stuff one in the back of the net to complete his Gordie Howe Hat Trick (for those of you who are somehow unaware--that's a goal, an assist, and a fight all in one game). And that goal could come towards the end of the period when Jack McBain returned the favor and picked up the assist on Liam O'Brien's first goal of the season.
After a quick review, the call was overturned and the goal was good. Liam O'Brien completes the Gordie, and the Coyotes are well on their way to curb stomping the Blackhawks. But for those keeping track at home, that also gives Jack McBain a goal and an assist. He's just one quick tilt away from also picking up a Gordie Howe Hatty, all in one period. So with a minute to go in the 2nd period, McBain figured he'd give Jarred Tinordi the scrap he was looking for.
It's another lost fight for the Coyotes, but luckily those don't end up on the scoreboard. And speaking of the scoreboard, McBain got himself up there again to put the final dagger in the Hawks with this goal in the 3rd to make it 8-1.
2 goals, 2 assists, and a fight on the night for Jack McBain. 1 goal, 1 assist, and a fight on the night for Liam O'Brien. That makes McBain and O'Brien the first set of teammates to have Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in the same game since 1988. The last time that happened?
Turns out Jack McBain's old man was in the mix. I don't know how many father-son duos have both picked up a Gordie Howe Hatty during their NHL career, but that might throw the McBain family into hockey royalty.
And just to put the cherry on top of everything, Michael Carcone ended the night with a regular hat trick for the 'Yotes last night. That's just some old time hockey right there, boys and girls. That's what it's all about. We don't want to get too ahead of ourselves here, but a few more games like that? The 'Yotes will be America's team in no time.
Sidenote: Still crazy that Gordie only actually had 2 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks himself during his career.