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Shane Doan discusses Coyotes’ slow start while co-hosting ‘Doug & Wolf’

LISTEN: Shane Doan on Coyotes' struggles

When The Doug & Wolf Show went on the air on Friday morning, there was a special guest host filling in for Ron Wolfley: former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan.

For the first time in decades, the Coyotes are beginning a season of NHL hockey without Doan.

It hasn’t gone well.

The Coyotes are 0-9-1 to start the year and are the NHL’s only winless team as they look to get a ‘W’ in their current East Coast road trip. This, despite the fact that the team’s promising youth and big offseason gave fans reason to be cautiously optimistic about the 2017-18 season.

“They’re going to have to find a way to get a game out of their goaltender and steal a game,” Doan said. “And once you get that going, it’s going to be a lot easier. But man, until that happens, the pressure’s going to mount.”

Indeed, the Coyotes have struggled with goaltending, particularly as they’ve been without starting netminder Antti Raanta. Backup Louis Domingue and prospect Adin Hill have filled in in Raanta’s absence, posting a combined .865 save percentage.

Aside from goaltending, the Coyotes are also a young team. Doan said the lack of experience could be contributing to the struggles.

“When you have more young guys than you do veteran guys, it starts to become — the room gets turned a little bit,” Doan said. “It becomes more about, ‘Am I in the lineup tonight? Because if I’m in the lineup tonight, I’m happy. I know we’ve lost 10 in a row, but I’m still playing in the NHL.’ There’s an element to that that is so hard to get past.

“The situation that they’re in, it’s inevitable for that to happen.”

Serving as the Coyotes’ captain for 13 seasons, Doan said he’s been in situations where he’s had to talk to younger players when times were tough. He explained why it’s so important to combat the mindset of satisfaction that comes with being in the lineup.

“You have to challenge that,” Doan said. “They have to understand, I was in the exact same boat. I played, my first four years, I just wanted to make sure I was in the lineup. I’m trying to help, but really, I want to be in the lineup.

“You want to help, but it’s hard to explain. Until you’re a big part of it, you just want to be there. You just want to be involved. Once you get to be where you’re contributing and you’re able to be the guy, then now you really, really want to win.”

Yet again, the Coyotes will try to end the skid, this time at the Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop for that one is on Saturday at 4 p.m.

“The other teams now, now it’s starting to get talked about,” he said. “‘We don’t want to lose to them.’ You don’t want to be the team that loses to [the Coyotes] now. It’s going to be a great challenge for them against New Jersey, because New Jersey’s a really, really young team.”

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