Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Done has been a notoriously slow starter throughout his career.
Though he’s typically ended up somewhere in the 20-30 goal range with between 30 and 40 assists, it’s sometimes taken the 18-year veteran months into the season to reach certain milestone numbers. But that hasn’t been the case this year, as Doan already has a team-high 10 goals through the Coyotes’ first 20 games — and the captain’s offensive prowess has played a role in Phoenix’s offensive resurgence.
“At this point in my career, I know where I’m going to be,” Doan told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Wednesday. “I know the gist of where I’m going to finish. But it really doesn’t matter if you’re scoring or not because we’re winning, and it’s so fun to play that way.
“No younger player, I think, could experience it because [scoring] does matter to a lot of people. You know what you’re going to get. You know you’re going to do your best and in certain situations you’re going to rise to the occasion and help out.”
The Coyotes’ 31 points are second in the NHL through the season’s first month-and-a-half, and Phoenix’s 73 goals are second in the league behind Chicago’s 79. Typically known as a defensive team under head coach Dave Tippett, the Coyotes’ offensive breakout may be even more impressive because of who they’ve played.
Seven of Phoenix’s last nine games have been against teams that are in the top-five in their conference — a stretch that’s seen the Coyotes go 7-1-1.
The Coyotes host the Colorado Avalanche Thursday at 7 p.m. in another game between Western Conference foes that are narrowly separated in the standings – the eighth-place Minnesota Wild are just two points behind conference-leading Chicago, and have more points than any Eastern Conference team.
“It’s unbelievable,” Doan said of the Coyotes’ run of playing against top teams. “It’s just every night. But it’s great, it’s a challenge. It’s something we look forward to. If you beat [those teams], it makes you feel good about yourself and the fact you can beat anybody.”