|Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan flies into the air after colliding with Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard during the second period in a first-round NHL playoff hockey game in Detroit, Sunday, April 18, 2010. Doan lost his balance and ran into the endboards. He later walked toward the dressing room and didn't come back. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick) |
– Since Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, it has been evident that the Phoenix Coyotes have tried to control their series against the Red Wings with physical play.
Leading the hit brigade for the Coyotes has been captain Shane Doan. The 33-year-old forward, who is tied for the playoff lead with 18 hits, did not skate in the Coytes' Monday practice at Joe Louis Arena. However, after a strange play during the second period of Sunday’s Game 3, Doan’s status for the rest of the series is in doubt.
Doan played less than seven-minutes of Game 3 after suffering what was called “an upper-body injury” two minutes into the second period. Chasing the puck after it was fired into the Wings’ end, Doan got tied up with Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall
. The Coyotes’ captain then tripped over goalie Jimmy Howard
, who attempted to cover up a loose puck. Doan slid into the end boards behind the Wings’ goal, with his right shoulder making first contact.
The Coyotes managed to score three goals in Doan’s absence to win 4-2 and gain a 2-1 series lead. There were no updates on Doan’s status after the game, and he was unavailable for interviews.
"We'll see where he is (Monday)," Phoenix coach Tippett said after the game. "But we have a lot of guys who are itching for some extra minutes and we had some guys jump in there and play very well. When you lose one guy, it's an opportunity for another guy. Shane's our leader, but we recognize we have a game to play."
It will be a rare occurrence if Doan does not dress for Tuesday’s Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena. He dressed for all 82 games the past two seasons, and only missed two games in the 2007-08 campaign. He has only missed 25 games over the last nine seasons.
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski said that his team will be able to survive without their captain, if need be.
“We have a lot of depth on our team,” Jovanovski said. “No matter if he’s in the lineup, we know our system and we play hard. We’ve done it all year and we haven’t deviated from it, so we’ll see what happens.”
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said that the Coyotes’ forwards filled in well during the final two periods of Game 3.
“I didn’t find out until the end of the second period,” Bryzgalov said of the injury. “It’s great that more guys will receive ice time, but it’s a big loss for us. We don’t know what’s going on, but he didn’t finish the game obviously. But the guys responded very well, guys got more ice time, got their legs under them, and played well.”
Judging by their comments after the game, the Wings won’t take Doan’s injury for granted as they prepare for Game 4.
It didn’t seem to slow them down at all,” Lidstrom said. “They just kept going and kept playing, and they played really structured out there today.”