Shane Doan is not an angry person. In fact, the Phoenix Coyotes’ captain gets teased by his teammates for being so easy-going.
Come playoff time, however, Doan is prepared to turn on the anger and emotion.
“I’m a better player when I play emotional,” Doan said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf Monday morning. “People are like, ‘Well just play like that all the time.’ You can’t. You can’t trick yourself to be emotional and fired up.”
After losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Coyotes have received the same draw but without the home ice advantage. After missing the last four games of that series, Doan is healthy and knows a key to the series will be playing physical.
“If I’m physical it’s going to give us a good chance,” Doan said. “For the most part, having a physical presence against their blue line is big. If they feel that when you’re on the ice they’re going to get hit, it shortens their time of being able to make plays and forces them into mistakes.”
The intensity of playoff hockey already has Doan excited for the series’ first game in Detroit on Wednesday. While he tried comparing playoff play to the enthusiasm and energy that comes from playing the first few games in a professional career, he admitted there is really no comparison.
“It’s hard to fake the playoffs,” Doan said. “In the playoffs it just comes so easily. You can’t wait to get onto the ice and to contribute.”
While the idea of a physical revenge would be satisfying, a trip to the second round would be proof enough that an emotional Doan is a better Doan come playoff time.