Senator John McCain likes Coyotes chances

Even from over 2,000 miles away, Senator John McCain is keeping a close eye on the Phoenix sports scene.

McCain, who has been frequently spotted at Diamondbacks, Suns and Coyotes games when he’s not back on the east coast in his Washington, D.C. headquarters spent the wee hours of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning glued to his television as the Coyotes-Blackhawks Game 3 playoff drama unfolded in Chicago.

The biggest sub-plot from the ‘Yotes 3-2 overtime win was Wednesday’s announcement Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely following his hit on Marian Hossa. This comes just days after Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended three games for his blown to the head of Mike Smith behind the net in Game 2.

“I think it’s very clear he left his feet,” Senator McCain told Brad Cesmat Wednesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I’m a great admirer of Raffi. He’s a tough guy. He works very hard out on the ice. It’s very unfortunate. It’s a tough business.”

As the series moves forward, McCain feels the Coyotes are in a good position to advance to the second round of the playoffs since arriving in the Valley in 1996.

I’m proud of this team,” McCain explained to Cesmat. “I think Chicago has more talent than the Coyotes, but I don’t think they have the discipline…or team cohesion the Coyotes do and that’s why I think they’re going to [win the series].”

He also shared his thoughts on the Diamondbacks, who have been hit with key injuries to outfielders Justin Upton and Chris Young as they look to repeat as National League West Champions.

“I still think we have the best manager in baseball,” McCain said. “I think they have a deep bench so I’m overall optimistic, but [the Diamondbacks] may be going through a rough couple weeks here.”

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.