"Captain Coyote," as he is lovingly known in Glendale, is one of the true class acts of the NHL, and is a franchise player for the Coyotes. He has spent his entire playing career with the same franchise (his rookie year with the former Winnipeg Jets).
Somehow, even though Doan has scored 20 or more goals in 10 NHL seasons, he was never able to get more than two goals in a game.
In true dramatic fashion, Doan recorded his first NHL hat trick with 00.1 seconds left in the game with a beautiful slap shot past Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
In fact, sitting at 38, Doan's 39 two-goal games without a hat trick would have set an NHL record, and was also only 11 goals away from tying the NHL record for most goals without a hat trick at 319.
Happily, the captain cannot claim that record.
With the final tally, the Coyotes won the game 5-1 over the Isles, with the captain as the first star of the game.
Phoenix is 1-4-2 in their last seven games and needed a boost to avoid a pre-All-Star slump.
Doan's hat trick and the two team points with the victory could help this team into yet another surprise playoff berth. Currently Phoenix sit just two points out of a playoff spot.
Shane Doan may love his Saturday night hat trick, but in the long run, a Stanley Cup is most likely the top priority for the long-time captain. Hopefully Captain Coyote snaps that streak sometime in his career as well.
Goalie Mike Smith came in as the second star of the night with a .969 save percentage against 32 shots.
Smith has been a surprise this season, transitioning from perennial backup for the Lightning to full-time starter for the Coyotes. Smith has a .922 save percentage on the year.
If the 'Yotes want to once again challenge for a Stanley Cup, Mike Smith's goaltending and Doan's leadership will be the two most crucial factors.
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