It's the best time of year!
On Saturday I caught with the Coyotes captain to get his thoughts on how the team is doing it again this season, Keith Yandle’s success and his love for horses.
RLD: It seems like you guys are proving the doubters wrong again. Is there any difference between this and last year’s success?
Shane Doan: The expectations are a lot higher. Last year, the expectations were about as low as you could get when we picked to finish 30th. So this year to have the opportunity to see if we can prove people wrong and make the playoffs would be big.
RLD: Last year, you guys were really consistent and lost three games or more in a row just twice, but this year it’s been more of a roller coaster. Talk about the resiliency the team has shown…
Doan: It’s been one of those things where when we put strings together it’s helped us. Momentum is a big thing in the league. As a group, we count on so many different guys that it seems that there’s always – we don’t go too long for someone to get going, and that kind of keeps the resiliency in the group going forward.
RLD: How big of a ‘monkey off the back’ is the ownership situation, now that it’s very close to being completed?
Doan: The day it’s done it will be a huge relief. It’s something as a group that we’ll appreciate, but we haven’t really focused on it up to this point; we do our best not to. Obviously something like that would be huge for us to get excited about and happy for. But until someone comes in here and introduces themselves, we’re reserving our emotions and enthusiasm.
RLD: How important is it to a family man like you to be able to know that, in all likelihood, you’ll be staying in Phoenix?
Doan: It’s big… for me, my wife and kids. The kids are old enough now that they understand and hear the things going on and what it’d mean if we had to move. So it’d be big for it to get all settled and have everyone on the same page.
RLD: Keith Yandle has put together a pretty amazing year, emerging as a Norris contender. What have you seen from him this year that has enabled him to take that next step?
Doan: The progression of who we all knew he was. Last year he probably could’ve been the best player on the ice 25-30 percent of the time… this year it’s probably 75-80 percent of the time. He’s unbelievable, an incredible talent for us. I’m pretty glad he’s on our side and not having to chase him around the ice.
RLD: Are you guys aware that Paul (Bissonnette) is a phenomenon on Twitter?
Doan: (Laughs) He mentions it all the time! We all realize it and he’s a unique individual. It’s a lot of fun having him around.
RLD: Later this week, you will be passing Teppo Numminen for the most games played in franchise history. What does that mean to you?
Doan: It’s a huge honor. Teppo Numminen is one of the classiest guys I’ve ever met in my life; someone I have as much respect for in the game as anybody. The way he handled himself was pretty unique and special. To be involved in anything with him is pretty special and it’s a big honor.
RLD: I’ve read that you have a love for horses. Where/when did that all start?
Doan: I grew up on a ranch up in Alberta, and we ran like a dude ranch for kids and for people… so we had a ton of them. And then my family – you’re either a cowboy or a hockey player. I wasn’t tough enough to be a cowboy, so I decided to be a hockey player (laughs).
(According to the Coyotes media guide, Doan owns 35 mares and 5 colts, and is working on breeding horses.)
RLD: How important is it to you to do all the community work that you do around Phoenix?
Doan: It’s huge… we’re given so much. We have been blessed beyond measure. Not only that with the hockey and everything, but my family with four healthy kids and an amazing wife, if I can do anything to help out and give back, I’ll do it.
RLD: Finally, you guys are on top of the Pacific right now. What is one thing that you guys need to do to hold onto that lead?
Doan: We just got to be consistent. Our special teams have to get better, and they have been getting better; but we have to stay consistent. If we’re consistently bringing our best game it gives us a chance. You recognize that everyone can beat everyone, but we just have to consistently bring our best.
Photo credit: Getty Images
at 10:30 AM
Tauchen Sie in der Welt von blackjack online ein und lassen Sie sich mit online casino spielen vergnügen.