GLENDALE – Shane Doan quietly became just the 54th NHL player to play 1,300 games on Thursday night when the Coyotes battled the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Boston won 2-1, and Doan and his teammates finished a four-game trip vs. Eastern Conference teams with a 2-2-0 record.
Photo by Getty Images.
Before the game, Doan was asked to comment on the milestone and, per usual, he politely kept the focus on the team and not himself.
Afterward, he spoke primarily of the team’s need to get back to winning ways at home on Saturday vs. Calgary.
"We've got to get the next game,” Doan said. “That's all we can worry about. The road trip is over. It wasn't a total disaster; it wasn't a huge success."
Only three other current NHL players have played more than 1,300 games. They are: Jaromir Jagr (1,457), Teemu Selanne (1,439) and Ray Whitney (1,319).
OK, so let’s have a little fun on an off day...
Gordie Howe holds the NHL record for games played with 1,767. Does Doan, who is 37 years old, have a realistic chance to catch him?
Let's do some math: Assuming Doan plays in all 15 of the Coyotes remaining games in this regular season, he would enter next season with 1,315 games played. In order to catch Howe’s record, Doan would have to play approximately five and a half more 82-game seasons – and that’s without missing a game. In other words, he would have to play until he was at least 43 years old.
The Coyotes are idle tonight but the three teams they are jockeying for position with in the Western Conference standings all are playing.
Entering Friday’s games, Phoenix is ninth in the conference standings with 73 points. Eighth-place Dallas (74) is hosting Calgary. Meanwhile, 10th-place Vancouver (70) is at Washington and 11th-place Winnipeg (69) is hosting the New York Rangers.
Without question, the Coyotes, and their fans, will be scoreboard watching tonight.
"Everybody knows the math," Head Coach Tippett said after Thursday's game at Boston. "It's about how hard you play and finding ways to win that matters now. That's all we can concentrate on."
The Coyotes next play on Saturday at home vs. the Calgary Flames.
Phoenix has dominated the Flames in games played in Arizona since Tippett took over in 2009-10. In nine games under Tippett, the Coyotes have posted an 8-1-0 mark vs. Calgary at Jobing.com Arena and have outscored the Flames 31-14 in those games.
• Massachusetts native Keith Yandle has been named to the 2014 Class for the Bay State Games Hall of Fame.
According to its website, "The Bay State Games Hall of Fame was created in 2001 to achieve two major goals. The first was to recognize Bay State Games athletic alumni who have gone onto prestigious and successful collegiate, professional, or Olympic careers. The second was to recognize former and current coaches, officials, sports organizers, volunteers, venues, and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Bay State Games throughout its history."
Past inductees include Bill Guerin, Nancy Kerrigan, Rebecca Lobo and Reggie Lewis.
• Center Martin Hanzal (lower-body injury) accompanied the team on its four-game trip but sat out all four games. His status for Saturday’s game vs. Calgary is unclear.
"I don't know if Saturday will be an option yet," Tippett said on Thursday. "We'll see how that goes."
• Forward Martin Erat, who suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s game vs. Florida, is not expected to play on Saturday. Neither is defenseman David Schlemko (lower-body injury).
• The team’s 10 millionth fan is expected to attend Saturday's game against Calgary at Jobing.com Arena. Click here to read more.