Coyotes fan Sveum put in awkward spot

CHICAGO -- One day after Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum revealed that his favorite hockey team is the Phoenix Coyotes, he was cornered into giving his prediction on the Coyotes' upcoming first-round matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“You can’t get me there, you’ll get me killed in this city,” said Sveum, who is clearly sticking with his love for the Coyotes. “I think the cool thing about hockey is anything goes when the playoffs start. I don’t really watch much basketball but I think you’re always rooting for that Game 7.”

Sveum, who lives in the Phoenix area during the offseason, said he used to have season tickets to the Coyotes when the team played downtown, but gave them up when the team moved out to Glendale, Ariz.

He knows all too well that Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is red hot heading into the playoffs.

“You know as well as I do, being in the hockey world, that you get a hot goalie and you have a chance in the playoffs,” Sveum said. “That’s who usually wins it is whoever has the hot goalie and he’s about as hot as you can get right now.”

Saying he hasn’t caught a hockey game live in years, Sveum hopes to attend at least one in this series, but it will be tough. Game 3 of the series in Chicago comes April 17 when the Cubs are in Miami to face the Marlins.

Game 4 is also in Chicago on April 19. The Cubs play a day game in Miami before flying home. That would be Sveum’s best chance to catch at least part of a game in person. The “if necessary” Game 6 in Chicago comes when the Cubs are in town on April 23, but they have a night game against the St. Louis Cardinals.