Captain Shane Doan
missed the four most important hockey games for the Coyotes in the past eight years because of a Grade 3 shoulder separation he suffered in Game 3 when he went tumbling into the end boards at Joe Louis Arena because he didn’t want to hit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard in a vulnerable position.
It doesn’t seem right, and yet it’s classic Shane Doan
. The guy is a classy player.
Those of us who follow the team on a daily basis were not surprised when Head Coach Dave Tippett detailed the severity of Doan’s injury after the Coyotes lost Game 7 to Detroit on Tuesday night. The fact Doan didn’t play in Games 4-6 was a crystal clear signal that he was hurting badly, and having to speak publicly about possibly playing in Game 7 knowing deep down that he wouldn’t probably hurt him more.
"You'd give anything to be out there and help your teammates," Doan said after Game 7. "...It was tough (to watch)."
The decision not to play Doan in Game 7 was a difficult one for Tippett on an emotional level, but an easy one with regards to logic. Doan couldn't lift his right arm.
"I felt so bad for him, he wants to play so bad," Tippett said. "...He recognized for him to come into the lineup, it would have made him feel good to be there with the guys, but in actual fact he knew he couldn't do the job.. .It just wasn't meant to be for him."
Frankly, Doan’s absence in Game 7 did not cost Phoenix the series. The Red Wings cranked up the level of their game exponentially when it mattered most and the Coyotes couldn’t keep up.
Yes, Game 7 was not easy to watch and the hockey world was indeed watching. But let’s not forget what a thrilling, fascinating and inspirational season that 2009-10 was for the Coyotes. They won 50 games. They earned 107 points. They secured the team’s first playoff berth since 2002. They made prognosticators and so-called experts look foolish with their resolve. And they took a mighty team loaded with elite players to seven games in a playoff series.
All good stuff. Thanks guys.
And thank you fans for supporting this team throughout a difficult season. Trust me - your loyalty, support and the hearty ovation you gave the players at the end of the game meant a lot to them.
I invite you to continue visiting phoenixcoyotes.com on a daily basis throughout the off-season for comprehensive coverage of the team as it moves onward and upward. And keep in mind that this season was just the beginning. With solid leadership in place, the Coyotes are locked and loaded for success for years to come.
Thanks for reading.
Reach Dave Vest at firstname.lastname@example.org