When the Phoenix Coyotes set a new franchise “record” with three straight shutout losses, captain Shane Doan tried to be diplomatic about it.
After ending that goalless slump but losing two more games, Doan took matters into his own hands.
“We haven’t lost five games in a row here in the last four years. It’s unacceptable,” Doan told Fox Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh after holding a closed-door meeting. “It’s unacceptable to each individual guy.”
The Phoenix Coyotes have players that stand out from the crowd, but they arguably don’t have team-defining superstars in the same way that a squad like the Pittsburgh Penguins do. Which Doan would probably say is fine because their strength lies elsewhere.
“There isn’t one person on our team that isn’t so vitally important for us to be successful,” Doan said, echoing what he likely told his teammates in the meeting. “I don’t care what line you’re on. I don’t care what defensive pairings you are.
“In order for us to have any type of success, individually we have to be good and individually we have an element we can pick up in every single guy.
“Every single guy can be better at some point. The only way this works here is because as a whole we’ve been good. Individually we have to be better, and that’s all that matters. To a man, we’re accountable and it’s not working. We’re not good enough right now.”
Doan feels that his teammates are doing and saying the “right things” in the third period, but they haven’t been doing it enough early in contests. The Coyotes have surrendered the first goal 21 times in 31 games this season. The first peiod has also been by far the Coyotes’ worst in terms of scoring goals.
The Coyotes have three off-days before they play the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. They’re currently in a three-way tie for 10th place with 30 points in 31 games.