Coyotes captain Shane Doan
waited eight long years to get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, but his return appearance has hit a snag after two-plus games.
Doan, who suffered an undisclosed injury early in the second period of Game 3 on Sunday and did not return, sat out Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Doan hasn’t spoken publicly since being injured, but I can guarantee you that missing Tuesday’s game pained him more than any physical ailment he’s dealing with right now.
The Coyotes lost Game 4. They failed to score a goal and were outhit 43-27. Clearly, they missed their captain on the ice. They also missed him in the dressing room after the game because he’s the one who usually answers the tough questions and explains to reporters what went wrong in humbling defeats.
On a personal note, I missed Doan, too. He has been the voice and face of this team for as long as I've been around it so, for me, it seemed surreal to watch the Coyotes play such a crucial game against the storied Red Wings in enemy territory without him. At one point on Tuesday I wondered if he was even still in Detroit because I hadn’t seen him all day in the dressing room or on the team bus or in the lobby of the team hotel. I later learned he was indeed there, watching the game. Painfully.
Head Coach Dave Tippett told us on Tuesday that Doan’s injury is not long-term and that there is a chance he could play on Friday in Game 5. I hope he does for the sake of his teammates, the fans and all of us connected to the team. But most of all, I hope Shane plays for Shane’s sake.
Reach Dave Vest at email@example.com.