Magical season ends on sour note for Coyotes
His team, hoping to become just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from an 0-3 deficit and win a postseason series, lost to the Kings 4-3 in overtime.
The most magical season in franchise history came to a sudden end, and that itself would be tough to swallow.
That the goal came just seconds after he watched teammate Michal Rozsival get helped off the ice after a questionable hit by Kings captain Dustin Brown -- one that was not whistled for a penalty -- made things even worse.
"It's hard because you don't want to take anything away from L.A. because they played unbelievable and you give them all the credit, but I mean, uncle, are you freaking kidding me, uncle" he said. "I can't understand how you miss that."
Doan mentioned a delay of game penalty the referees ignored in overtime, as well as a penalty assessed to Martin Hanzal that negated a 5-on-3 advantage Phoenix was set to have in the third period.
But what had him most upset was the hit on Rozsival.
It's an excellent question but, sadly, one that we all wish never had to be asked.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett had it right.
"It is what it is," he said. "L.A. beat us, and that's what should be remembered, not the refereeing."
Remembering this series for the officiating would not be fair to the Kings, who were undeniably the better team. Remembering this series for the officiating would do the fans no good, because no matter how bad they may have been, nothing is going to change the fact that the Coyotes are not moving on. And, finally, remembering this series for the officiating would be unfair to the Coyotes, who had an absolutely phenomenal season.
The good news is, sooner or later, the focus will shift to that. Sure, the pain of the perceived slight by the officials will never truly go away -- just ask Phoenix Suns fans, circa 2007 playoffs -- but at some point this team will be remembered fondly for what it accomplished during this challenging season.
A team with no owner and few fans won a Pacific Division title and two playoff series before bowing out in the Western Conference final, where they battled back from a slow start to ultimately acquit themselves quite well.
That is what everyone should remember about this season, not the frustrating way it ended.
"It just stings the way we have to go out, but someone's got to lose and unfortunately we were the one today."
Indeed, someone was going to lose Tuesday night's game and, at some point, one of the two teams in this series was going to see its season end.
That it's the Coyotes is disappointing, but the very fact that it's the Coyotes -- and disappointing -- shows just how far the team came in just one season.
"We put ourselves in a tough position, and we played right to the bitter end," defenseman Derek Morris said.
That they did, and while the way this game finished certainly leaves a bad taste in one's mouth, the way this season went should not.
- Don Maloney, Phoenix Coyotes' GM - Wednesday May 29The GM discusses his contract extension and the futures of head coach Dave Tippett and goaltender Mi
- Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes Head Coach - Thursday April 25Tippett tells Burns & Gambo why he thinks the Coyotes didn't get into the postseason
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Friday April 19Tippett goes over what the Coyotes have to do to make the playoffs. He also gives an injury update o
- Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes Head Coach - Thursday April 11Coyotes are making a late playoff push after beating Edmonton last night. Coach Tippett joins the sh
- Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes' Head Coach - Friday April 5Coach Tippett talks to Burns & Gambo about the win over Detroit and the moves at the trade deadline.