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Hats off for Doan? Not just yet

by Jerry Brown /
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Over the years, it's gotten comical for Shane Doan. But now, it's about to get historic.

Doan had back-to-back two-goal games last week, the 36th and 37th of his career. That's not a record, but it's notable because of the number of hat tricks the Phoenix Coyotes' captain has fashioned in his career.

None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

He already has scored more goals and recorded more two-goal games than any active player in the League without collecting a hat trick. But his two goals in St. Louis in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Blues -- which gave him five in a three-game span -- were the 284th and 285th of his career -- and made things even more interesting.

Only defenseman Larry Murphy, who played more than 1,600 NHL games over parts of three decades before leaving for the broadcast booth at NHL Network, has scored more goals (287) in his career without seeing hats hit the ice.

So if the red-hot Doan -- who was named the League's Second Star of the Week after collecting eight points in four games -- happens to get a couple of early goals Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Arena, something's gotta give. Either the spell will be broken and Doan will finally break through or Murphy's inglorious record will have company.

"It's not a story if I get the hat trick, so why mess with it?" said a joking Doan, who added insult to frustration by hitting the post on the power play on Wednesday night in a 6-3 win over the Kings -- the second time this season a potential hat trick goal found metal post instead of mesh net.

"Usually, if I have two goals we're having and good night and you can enjoy it a little. But when you get two and we lose like we did in St. Louis (4-3 on Friday) there's no joy in it at all. It doesn't matter."

Doan likes to point out that the people of Belarus would challenge this so-called record. In the 2007 World Championship, Doan scored three times in a seven-minute span for Team Canada, so it hasn't been that long since he's had a hat trick. But in the NHL, since he stepped on the ice as a fuzzy-faced 19-year-old with the Winnipeg Jets in 1995, the trio has eluded him in all kinds of amazing ways -- from goals being waved off, to credited to other plays, not to mention those darned posts and crossbars that seem to grow to the size of redwoods after he's scored that second goal.

But for Doan, thoughts are focused on snapping the Coyotes out of their current funk. Despite his offensive fireworks, the Coyotes have lost two straight and haven't won back-to-back games in more than a month, going 6-9-3 since winning seven straight in November. They have fallen out of a playoff spot but have an opportunity for advancement against two teams just above them in the race -- the Blue Jackets and the Avalanche, whom they visit in Denver on Thursday.

"It's nice to be honored but we went 1-2-1 in the four games and I'd trade the honor for four wins that we really need to have," Doan said. "After missing time and just not being comfortable on the ice, I feel like I'm getting there now. It was hard to have the least goals among the forwards for awhile there, but now I'm up there and you know things like that will even out if you keep working. Now it's a matter of winning hockey games and doing what we're capable of as a team."
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