Vindicated. That is what Captain Shane Doan said he feels today on the Bickley and MJ radio show (AM 910). Shane has been doing a lot of media for the upcoming Western Conference Finals, and he is constantly asked the same questions. “Are you surprised at how well the team did this year.” Or, “Did anyone see this coming?” Host Dan Bickley asked Shane what he feels after hearing these questions. Shane took a deep breathe, then said “Vindicated. We had 107 points and 50 wins 2 years ago. Finished fourth in the West. Last year we were sixth. We got Detroit, didn’t play well last year. This year we won the Pacific Division. We’ve been playing this way for three years.”
Shane then went on to point out he has been singing the praises of Keith Yandle, a two time All-Star. Mikkel Boedker, who had a breakout season that culminated in two game winning goals against Chicago and 1 goal against Nashville. How the team has a system that everyone contributes and chips in. That is how they win. All in.
When you think about the recent Stanley Cup winners, who have been the key contributors? The role players. The guys like Brad Marchand for Boston, The third and fourth liners for Chicago to go along with players like Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky. It is the stars who will come to play. It is the grinders who will do all the things that help the stars shine. For the Coyotes, it is the Gabriel Brule, Daymond Langkow, and Kyle Chipchura line who will set the tone. They will be pests on the forecheck and make you work to bring the puck across the neutral zone. They will backcheck like their career depends on it. As Tyson says; “forecheck, backcheck, paycheck.”
Shane then opened up about his conversation with Mikkel Boedker after Boeds had been sent down to the AHL. The emotional response, the fear you blew your chance to play in the NHL. The feeling maybe you are not good enough to play at this level and the disappointment you will carry with you. Shane told how when he was sent down in his third year, the team bus stopped outside the rink in Miami, he was summoned to the front, then led off the bus. His equipment was handed to him and he was told to wait for the rink to open or get a taxi. There was no GM calling you into his office to discuss your future and give you a pep talk. It was a dismissal in front of your teammates. The bus took off, leaving Shane and his equipment bag on the curb. With many friendly Miami residents offering to help you with your bag.
Shane could have talked about his 9th season with 2o goals or more. He could have talked about how he is in the final year of his contract. It is never stated. Shane talked about how great GMDM is, what a coach Dave Tippett is for this team. How they both have won the top award in their career. How Mike Smith just beat a Vezina goalie in Pekka Rinna and gets to face another in Jonathon Quick. He is eight wins away from total vindication. I cannot wait.
We Believe In The Coyotes. This Is Our Time. This Is Our Year.